The “Keep the Wreath Red” program is used to raise fire safety awareness during the holiday season and has become an annual event. Each Tri- State Fire Station has a wreath that is wrapped with red lights. The wreaths remain lit twenty four hours a day during the holiday season. If a fire occurs that is determined to be the result of a holiday decoration, a white bulb replaces a red bulb on the wreath. The hope is the wreath will serve as a constant reminder to practice fire safety during the holiday season.
Some suggestions for holiday fire safety are:
- Needles on fresh trees should be green and hard to pull back from the branches, and the needles should not break if the tree has been freshly cut. The trunk should be sticky to the touch.
- Do not place your tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent. The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to be more easily ignited by heat, flame or sparks.
- Never put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or wood‐burning stove. When the tree becomes dry, discard it promptly.
- Inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets, and excessive kinking or wear before putting them up. Use only lighting listed by an approved testing laboratory.
- Do not link more than three light strands, unless the directions indicate it is safe. Connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet
- All decorations should be nonflammable or flame‐retardant and placed away from heat vents.
- Ensure that trees and other holiday decorations do not block an exit way. In the event of a fire, time is of the essence. A blocked entry/exit way puts you and your family at risk.
- Wrapping paper in the fireplace can result in a very large fire, throwing off dangerous sparks and embers that may result in a chimney fire.
- If you do use lit candles, make sure they are in stable holders and place them where they cannot be easily knocked down. Never leave the house with candles burning.