Fire Department Pleas “Keep the Wreath Red” This Holiday Season

Park Forest Fire Department, PFFD
The Park Forest Fire Department on a clear day with trucks and an ambulance parked in front. (Photo: PFFD)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- The holiday season is upon us which means focusing on fire safety to help the Fire Department “Keep the Wreath Red.”

The Park Forest Fire Department has been participating in the “Keep the Wreath Red” program, developed by the Illinois Fire Chiefs’ Association, since it first began in the early 1980s. This program was created to remind people of the importance of fire safety – especially during the holiday season.

Keep the Wreath Red, PFFD
Keep the Wreath Red this holiday season. (Graphic: PFFD)

The wreath, located in front of the Fire Station, is illuminated 24 hours a day with red bulbs. Whenever the Department responds to a home fire caused by holiday decorations, all the bulbs will change to white and remain white for 24 hours. They will then change back to red, except for one white bulb which will remain to represent the fire.

Candles started 55% of holiday decoration fires in December (between 2011-2015 per NFPA) and December is overall the peak month of the year for home candle fires. The most common cause of candle fires is candles being placed too close to things that could catch fire. Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn. Always blow out candles before leaving a room or going to bed. Never leave a child or a pet alone in a room with a burning candle. Use sturdy candle holders that won’t tip over. Never use a candle if oxygen is used in your home. Consider decorating with flameless candles that look and smell like real candles.

When buying a fresh cut Christmas tree check to make sure the needles do not fall off when touched. Cut 2 inches from the base of the trunk before placing the tree in the stand. Locate your Christmas tree so it is at least 3 feet away from heat sources and is not blocking an exit. Make sure to add water to the stand daily. An adequately watered Christmas tree will not dry out as quickly. A dry tree is a fire hazard and should be immediately removed from your home. Locate the dry tree outside away from your home, garage or other structures while waiting for disposal.

When decorating with lights and/or other electric powered devices make sure they are listed by a qualified testing laboratory for safety. Inspect light strings before using them and replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read the manufacturer’s instructions for the maximum number of light strings to connect. When decorating outside make sure you are using outdoor rated electrical decorations and cords. Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so cords don’t get damaged. Always turn off decorations before leaving your home or going to bed.

Please keep fire safety in mind this holiday season and help us “Keep the Wreath Red.”

See the NFPA’s Holiday Fire Safety Tips.

This information is from the Park Forest Fire Department.