The Plainfield Fire Protection District has decorated each fire station with a holiday wreath that has red lights for the annual, area wide, holiday fire safety campaign “Keep the Wreath Red” that aims to raise awareness of fire safety during the holiday season. If there’s a fire caused by a holiday decoration a red light will be replaced with a white light. The goal is to keep the wreaths red throughout this holiday season. The most common holiday decoration related fire is from candles. The main cause of candle fires is candles being placed too close to things that can burn. Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn. Put candles in sturdy candle holders that won’t tip over. Always blow out candles before leaving a room or going to bed. Don’t leave a child or a pet alone in a room with a burning candle and never light a candle if oxygen is used in your home. Flameless candles are a good alternative if you would rather not have an open flame candle in your home.

A dry Christmas tree is also a fire hazard. When buying a fresh cut Christmas tree check to make sure the needles do not fall off when touched. Cut 2 inches from the base of the trunk before placing the tree in the stand. Locate your Christmas tree so it is at least 3 feet away from heat sources and is not blocking an exit. Make sure to add water to the stand daily to keep the Christmas tree fresh. Remove the Christmas tree from your home as soon as it begins to show signs of drying out. Place the dry tree outside and away from your home, garage or other structures while waiting for disposal.

When decorating with holiday lights and other electric powered decorations make sure they are listed by a qualified testing laboratory for safety. Always check light strings before using them and replace any light strings with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for the maximum number of light strings to connect so electrical outlets are not overloaded. Only use outdoor rated decorations and extension cords for any decorations that will be outside. Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so cords don’t get damaged. Always turn off decorations before leaving your home or going to bed.

With everyone’s help we can “Keep the Wreath Red” this holiday season. For more information about holiday fire safety call us at 815-436-5335 or visit our web site at