Keep the Wreath Red: BG Fire Department offers holiday safety tips
The red lights glow at dusk at Buffalo Grove Fire Station 26, at 109 E. Deerfield Parkway. | Photo courtesy John Gilleran
Updated: December 4, 2012 4:38PM
BUFFALO GROVE — The Buffalo Grove Fire Department is participating in the “Keep the Wreath Red” program in hopes of preventing blazes during the holiday season.
The program calls for a wreath to be placed in the front of each Buffalo Grove fire station, all lit entirely with red lights. Whenever holiday decorations cause a fire in town, firefighters will change one of the lights to white.
To help them keep their wreaths red, firefighters released the following list of preventative tips:
• 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 lose easily their needles.
• Do not rely on chemical sprays to make your tree flame resistant.
• Keep trees in water‐holding stands and keep stands full of water. Place trees away from heat sources and a safe distance from exits.
• 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.
• Do not run extension cords under carpets, across doorways, or near heaters.
• Unplug lights when you leave your home or before going to bed.
• 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 candles and all open flames away from flammable liquids.
• Keep candlewicks trimmed to one‐quarter inch and extinguish taper and pillar candles when they get to within two inches of the holder. Candles should be extinguished before the last half‐inch of wax starts to melt.
• During power outages, avoid carrying a lit candle. Use flashlights.
• Keep matches, lighters and candles out of children’s reach.
• Burn only well‐seasoned, dry wood in your fireplace.
• Never burn Christmas paper wrapping in your fireplace. The paper burns too hot and too fast and could cause a fire in your chimney.