Burlington, Ia- The Burlington Fire Department is participating again in a holiday fire awareness program this year.
“Keep the Wreath Red” is a public education program designed to increase fire safety awareness during the holiday season. The program will run from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day.
Holiday wreaths will hang outside Central Fire Station at 5th & Valley streets and Fire Station 2 at 2223 Summer St. The wreaths are decorated with red lights. In the event of a structure fire during the holiday season, firefighters will replace one of the red bulbs with a white one. The goal is to keep the bulbs on the wreaths entirely red.
Last year several bulbs were changed to white due to structure fires that occurred during the holiday season.
Fire Safety reminders for a safe holiday season include:
- Be careful with candle use. Never leave a candle unattended and always place them out of reach from children. New style battery-powered candle lights are a safe alternative. We recommend using those instead of candles. More than one-third of holiday fires are started by candles!
- Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. Make it a rule in your home not to leave the kitchen when cooking.
- Check all your illuminated decorations to make sure they are in good condition. Light strands that have frayed or cracked wires should be thrown away and replaced with UL-approved devices. Outside cords should be approved for exterior uses and inside cords should not be placed under carpets or throw rugs. Don’t overload extension cords. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendation.
- Keep live Christmas trees watered frequently. Be aware of your tree’s life and when it becomes brittle, discontinue using the lights. Always turn off the lights when leaving your home. One of four Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems.
- Make sure your fireplace is in good working order and the chimney is free from obstructions and creosote buildup. Christmas wrappings and tree branches are not to 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.
- Please keep fire hydrants clear and accessible. Do not pile shoveled or blown snow around a fire hydrant.
- As always, check your smoke detectors and make sure they are in good working order. If you did not change the batteries when you changed your clocks from daylight savings time, change them now.