The Johnston-Grimes Fire Metropolitan Fire Department is continuing a great holiday tradition for the sixth year in a row. The public safety campaign is known as "Keep the Wreath Red," which promotes fire safety as thousands of Johnston residents decorate for the holidays.
Johnston-Grimes firefighters have placed one wreath outside the Public Safety Building, located at 6373 Merle Hay Road in Johnston. The wreath is decorated with a string of red lights. If a fire occurs in the city because of holiday decorations, firefighters will replace one of the red light bulbs with a white bulb. The mission is to "Keep the Wreath Red" during the holiday season. Since the department began the campaign six years ago, they have not changed a bulb to white, and fire crews hope to keep it this way.
Fire safety tips that can help Keep the Wreath Red include:
- Consider an artificial tree; they are much safer.
- If you purchase a real tree, select only fresh trees that are deep green in color, have a strong scent of pine, and do not easily lose their needles.
- Place trees away from heat sources and a safe distance from exits.
- Keep the holding stand for real trees full of water.
- Do not rely on chemical sprays to make a tree flame resistant.
- Buy and use lights approved by a national testing laboratory. LED lights are the safest lights because they do not generate very much heat.
- 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 and keep the use of extension cords to a minimum.
- Do not run extension cords under carpets, across doorways, or near heaters.
- Unplug lights when you leave home and 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 matches, lighters, and candles out of the reach of children.
- Burn only dry wood in the fireplace.
- Never burn Christmas wrapping paper in the fireplace. The paper burns too hot and too fast and could cause a fire in the chimney.