The Beecher Fire Protection District wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday season!
By Member Joe Falaschetti
November 15, 2018

The holiday season represents a time for family festivities and good cheer, however, it is also a time with increased risk of home fires. To raise awareness of proper holiday fire safety, the Beecher Fire Protection District, along with area fire departments and fire districts, is participating in the holiday fire safety campaign called “Keep the Wreath Red.” Our fire station is decorated with a holiday wreath in red lights. If a fire is caused by a holiday decoration, then a red light will be replaced with a white light. With everyone’s help, we can keep the wreath red this holiday season!
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December is the peak month for home candle fires. The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) statistics show that two of every five home decoration fires are started by candles. Consider using flameless candles, which look and smell like real candles.
If you choose to use traditional candles, follow these tips for safe use:
• Keep the candle at least 12” away from anything flammable
• Blow the candle out when leaving the room
• Always extinguish all candles before going to bed
• Use sturdy candle holders that won’t tip over
• ALWAYS place candles on uncluttered surfaces
• Avoid using candles in the bedroom! They account for more than one-third of U.S. candle fires!
• NEVER leave a child or pet alone in a room with a burning candle!
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U.S. fire departments respond to an average of 210 home structure fires per year caused by Christmas trees. Three of every ten fires are caused by electrical problems, and one in four are caused by a heat source that’s too close to the tree.
Follow these tips for picking and placing your tree:
• When choosing a fresh tree, make sure the green needles don’t fall off when touched. Before placing it in the stand, cut 2 inches from the base of the trunk, add water to the tree stand, and be sure to water it daily.
• Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit and is at least THREE FEET AWAY from any heat source, such as fireplaces, space heaters, radiators, candles, heat vents, or lights.
• NEVER use lit candles to decorate the tree.
• ALWAYS turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
• After Christmas, dispose of the tree! Dried-out trees are a fire hazard and should NEVER be left in the home, garage, or placed outside the home.

Additional tips for decorating around your home:
• Artificial trees should be labeled, certified, or identified by the manufacturer as fire-retardant.
• Use lights that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory, and verify whether they are designed for indoor or outdoor use. For the coolest bulbs and greatest energy efficiency, try LED lights, which come in a wide range of styles and colors.
• Outside decorations should only be comprised of OUTDOOR RATED lights, extension cords, timers, and electric decorations.
• Replace any string of lights with worn/broken cords, or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer’s instructions for the safest number of light strands to connect.
• Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.
By following these fire prevention tips you can greatly reduce the risk of a fire in your home and enjoy a safe holiday season. For more holiday fire safety information, please visit the NFPA website at
For more information about holiday fire safety contact Fire Chief Joe Falaschetti at (708) 946-6585.

Attachment KEEP THE WREATH RED - REVISED 4.docx  (155k)
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