The Town of Superior Volunteer Fire Department is once again raising awareness about holiday fire safety through the Keep the Wreath Green Campaign.
A wreath on the Superior Fire Hall will be lit with green holiday lights from Nov. 26 to Jan. 2. If a residential fire occurs during the holiday season in Douglas County, one of the bulbs will change to red.
Holiday fires can be caused by cooking, smoking, space heaters, candles and other preventable sources. More fires are caused by cooking than any other cause, according to Town of Superior Fire Chief Darryl Fiegle.
The wreath is a reminder of the safety precautions that should be taken during the holiday season.
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In 2013, the wreath accumulated four red lights. In 2014, seven red lights were added to the wreath. Over the last few years, the department has only had to change one bulb by the end of the campaign.
“We are hoping that this year we will keep it green,” Fiegle said.
There are several things people can do to practice fire safety during the holidays:
Check all illuminated decorations to make sure they are in good condition. Light strands that have frayed or that have cracked wires should be thrown away and replaced with UL approved devices.
Do not place indoor cords under carpets or throw rugs.
Outside lights should be approved for outdoor use. Never use indoor lights outside.
Do not use more than the listed amount of light sets per extension cords. Read the manufacturer's instructions carefully and do not use more than the number of light sets recommended in one circuit.
Never use electric lights on a metallic tree.
Always turn off decorative lights when leaving your home.
Artificial trees should have a listing label. Some unlabeled plastic trees can burn extremely fast.
If using a live tree, keep it watered frequently. The needles should not come off in your hand. The tree should be deep green in color, and the trunk should be sticky with sap.
Place your tree away from heat sources like fireplaces.
When using candles always make sure candles are not close to combustible materials such as curtains.
Make sure all candles are out before leaving the house.
Make sure the fireplace is in good working order and the chimney is free from creosote build-up.
Christmas wrappings and tree branches should not be burned in the fireplace. Their intense and rapid burning can cause chimney fires and flames to extend out of the firebox into your home.
Never use heaters around water. Water increases the chances of electric shock.
Unplug the heater when it is not in use.
Do not use the heater as a dryer. Keep clothing and other combustible materials at least 3 feet from the heater.
Do not place a heater in a doorway, hall or walkway where it is likely to get bumped.
Do not leave space heaters unattended.
Check your smoke alarms and make sure they are in good working order. Change the batteries twice a year.
Contact the local fire department or visit http://www.usfa.fema.gov/ for more helpful fire prevention tips. Additional holiday fire safety information can be found on the fire department’s Facebook page.