Three separate house fires have made for a tragic week in Grand Rapids, Michigan. On Monday, a 62-year-old man was injured in a blaze on the Northwest Side and later died at an area hospital. Last night, two more fires tore through two other areas of the city. A fire on the Northeast Side claimed two lives, including a 10-month old, while injuries sustained by a 71-year-old man in a fire on the Southeast Side ultimately led to that man’s death. All told, four people have died from fire-related causes this week in the otherwise energetic West Michigan city.

Fire safety and emergency planning are things we do not often think about. Many of us have smoke detectors, but few of us remember when we last changed the battery. An escape plan is not something you want to develop during a crisis – you and your family should have escape routes and meeting points set up well in advance.