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Palatine Fire Department: "Keep the Wreath Red"

The holiday safety program called "Keep the Wreath Red" is meant to remind residents to address potential fire safety issues in your home.

The Palatine Fire Department is participating in the annual "Keep the Wreath Red" holiday safety awareness program.

"During the holidays, as many people decorate their homes, the potential for accidental fires raises exponentially.  We are encouraging people to enjoy the holiday season in a safe and responsible manner," said Scott Andersen, Palatine fire chief.

For more than 60 years, the campaign has served to remind citizens of potential fire hazards that could exist in your home.

At each of the five Palatine Fire Department stations, there is a wreath decorated with red lights. In the event of a holiday-related fire, the red bulbs will be exchanged with white. The goal is to Keep the Wreath Red.

Chief Andersen reminds residents to, "Be mindful of the hidden dangers of holiday lighting, overloaded outlets, improperly used extension cords and unattended candles.  Follow all manufacturers guidelines and safety precautions and let's Keep the Wreath Red this holiday season." 

Your check list should include: 

  • Check holidays lights for wear or damaged wiring and replace if needed.
  • Use indoor/outdoor lighting and extension cords where appropriate.
  • Extension cords should not be run across sidwalks, or through windows or doors.
  • Avoid overloading electrical cords. A tell-tale sign is when they are hot.
  • When using a live Christmas tree, ensure the tree stand is sturdy and water often.
  • Wreaths and all holiday decorations should be clear from heat sources, including fireplaces, space heaters, candles and heating ducts.
  • Test smoke detectors and replace batteries.
  • Use sturdy candle holders and display on uncluttered, firm surfaces.
  • Do not put candles in windows near curtains or blinds.
  • Clean fireplaces and wood-burning stoves regularly. 

Information provided by the Palatine Fire Department. 

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