Town of Superior Aims to Prevent Fires with "Keep the Wreath Green"

Taylor Holt
December 15, 2017 10:53 PM

The Town of Superior Fire Department is aiming to prevent and bring awareness to fires during the holiday season, and they're doing this in a unique way - through their "Keep the Wreath Green" campaign.

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"During this season everyone's busy. They are trying to do lots of different things," said Darryl Fiegle, Town of Superior Fire Chief.

However, Fiegle says sometimes that means other important things can slip through the cracks -- like keeping your house safe from fires.

"(During the holidays, people) They add additional electrical supply to their house with Christmas trees, and Christmas lighting," Fiegle said. "Extra heating elements such as space heaters, wood burning stoves, all of those things contribute to an increased factor of an occurrence of a fire."

Their department's campaign aims to lower those chances.

"It (the campaign) basically displays a wreath from the holiday season's Thanksgiving through New Year's and they record structure fires," Fiegle said.

Each time there's a fire in Douglas County one of the bulbs on the wreath that's lit green changes to red.

"Every year is different. Two years ago in Douglas County, there were over 11 fires," Fiegle added.

On this year's wreath, all the lights are green and the goal is to keep it that way. Fiegle says he thinks the campaign has helped in prevention.

"It's a reminder for everyone to be vigilant," he said.

According to the National Fire Protection Association between 2011 and 2015, an estimated 200 home structure fires began with Christmas trees. Electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in two of every five of those fires.

"A fire can start from overloaded circuits, extension cords being used, items being placed to close to a space heater," said Fiegle.

His advice is simple.

"Have a working smoke alarm on every floor, close your door at night when you go to bed, and have an escape plan," Fiegle. "Watch out for those safety factors to reduce fires and to make them survivable."

This is now the 8th year for the campaign.

Other tips for prevention:

  • Water your Christmas tree everyday. A dry tree is dangerous because it can catch on fire easily.
  • Use holiday lighting safely. Throw away light strands with frayed or pinched wires. Turn off all of your holiday lights before going to bed or leaving your home.
  • Think about using battery-operated flameless candles.

People can also find more prevention tips at the U.S. Fire Administration website.


Taylor Holt

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