Keep the Wreath Red
December 5, 2019

Keep the Wreath Red

The Rochelle Fire Department is participating in the "Keep the Wreath Red" program to raise awareness of fire dangers associated with decorating for the holidays. A wreath strung with red lights has been hung on the front of the Fire Station at 401 5th Ave. The wreath will remain lit at all times throughout the holiday season. Whenever a fire occurs that is a result of holiday decorations, a white bulb will then replace a red bulb on the wreath.

The program serves as a reminder to practice fire safety in preparation for and during all festivities this year to prevent unnecessary tragedy.

Please consider the following list of holiday decorating safety tips:

Tree Safety

  • Consider an artificial tree; they are much safer.
  • If buying a real tree, select only fresh trees that are deep green in color, have a strong scent of pine, and do not easily lose their needles.
  • Keep holding stand for real trees full of water. Place trees away from heat sources and a safe distance from exits.
  • Do not rely on chemical sprays to make a tree flame resistant.

Electrical Safety

  • Buy and use lights approved by a national testing laboratory.
  • Discard any lights that have frayed or worn cords, cracked sockets, broken or loose connections, bare wires, or operate intermittently.
  • Never use indoor lights outdoors. Do not overload electrical outlets. Keep the use of extension cords to a minimum.
  • Do not run extension cords under carpets, across doorways, or near heaters.
  • Unplug lights when you leaving home or before going to bed.

Candle & Fireplace Safety

  • Extinguish all candles when leaving the room or going to sleep.
  • Keep candles away from items that can catch fire, like clothing, books and curtains.
  • Use candle holders that are sturdy, won't tip over easily, are made from a material that cannot burn, and are large enough to collect dripping wax.
  • Keep matches, lighters and candles out of children's reach.
  • Burn only dry wood in the fireplace.
  • Never burn Christmas wrapping paper in the fireplace. The paper burns too hot and too fast and could cause a fire in the chimney.

In 1980, the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association adopted the program called "Keep the Wreath Red," a program that was founded by the Naperville (IL) Fire Department in 1954. "Keep the Wreath Red" has become an annual event, with fire departments all across Illinois participating.

As always, we ask everyone to consider fire safety and emergency preparedness for themselves, their families, and others in the community.

For additional information on fire safety, please contact the Rochelle Fire Department at 815-562-2122.