Editor's note: The following is a press release issued by the Plainfield Fire Protection District:
For the holiday season, the Plainfield Fire Protection District will hang a holiday wreath with red lights on each fire station. If there is a fire that is caused by a holiday decoration, a red bulb on the wreaths will be replaced with a white bulb.
Fire officials are asking for everyone to help keep the wreaths red by practicing fire safety while decorating this holiday season. Here are some helpful holiday safety tips to keep in mind:
- Electrical decorations: Inspect all electric decorations for cracked or frayed wires and loose light sockets before use. Only use outdoor-rated electric decorations and extension cords for outdoors. Don’t run electric cords under rugs or through doorways where they can get pinched. Don’t overload your homes electric outlets and regularly check decorations and extension cords for damage or overheating. Only connect a maximum of three strands of mini light sets. Only connect a maximum of 50 bulbs for the screw in bulb type of light sets. Check manufacturer’s instructions for LED-style light sets. Make sure all your electric decorations have the label of an independent testing laboratory. Turn off electric decorations before leaving the home or going to sleep.
- Live Christmas trees: Choose a fresh tree; make sure the needles do not fall off when touched. Cut 1 to 2 inches from the base of the tree truck before placing it in the stand. Give your live Christmas tree water daily. A dry tree is a fire hazard; a well-watered tree will not burn as readily as a dry tree. Locate your live tree at least 3 feet away from heat vents, fireplaces, space heaters and candles. Don’t block your home’s exit with your Christmas tree and once a tree starts to dry out it should be removed from your home. Don’t leave the dried out tree in your garage or against your home.
- Candles: Almost half of all home decoration fires are caused by candles. Never leave a burning candle unattended. Candles need to be in sturdy holders large enough to collect melting wax and located at least 12 inches away from anything that will burn such as curtains. Locate candles so children and pets cannot get to them and always extinguish candles before leaving the home or going to sleep. Keep matches and lighters out of children’s reach in a high, locked cabinet.
- Holiday entertaining: Make sure your home smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are working by testing them. Advise house guests of your family’s home escape plan. Provide smokers with large deep ashtrays and wet cigarette butts before disposing of them. Keep kitchen fire safety in mind when preparing meals for your guests. Never leave stovetop cooking unattended, if you must leave the kitchen turn the stovetop off first.
With everyone’s help, we can keep the wreaths red this holiday season.
For more fire safety information you may call us at 815-436-5335 or visit us on the Web at www.plainfieldfpd.com. For more holiday fire safety tips you may also visit the United States Fire Administration website or Underwriters Laboratory.
And if you’re looking for gift ideas, fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and fire escape ladders make excellent gifts.
The Plainfield Fire Protection District would like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season.