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Keep the wreath green – Mount Pleasant Volunteer Fire Department launches annual fire safety campaign.

The Mount Pleasant Volunteer Fire Department, in coordination with fire departments nationwide, is set to kick off its annual “Keep the Wreath Green” Fire Safety campaign on Friday, Dec. 1. While the holiday season brings joy, the combination of cold weather, festive decorations, and celebrations poses serious fire risks. The Department aims to mitigate these risks by disseminating daily life-saving holiday safety tips throughout December via its Facebook page. Throughout the month-long initiative, a virtual wreath will be prominently displayed on the department’s website and Facebook page. In the event of a residential fire response resulting in damage, a green ornament on the wreath will be replaced with a red one, serving as a visual reminder of the potential dangers associated with fires in homes.

Notably, in 2021, the department recorded no fire responses, and all ornaments remained green; however, in 2022, one ornament was changed to red.

Statistics from the National Fire Protection Association reveal that electrical distribution or lighting equipment was implicated in 44% of home Christmas tree fires, with 39% of such fires originating in the living room. Furthermore, 21% of decoration fires occurred in the kitchen. Candle-related incidents accounted for 57% of December home decoration fires, a stark contrast to the 32% reported from January to November.

Christmas, New Year’s Day, and New Year’s Eve emerged as the top three days for home candle fires. According to the United States Fire Administration, winter-related fires claim the lives of over 900 individuals and cause more than $2.1 billion in damages annually. Nationally, cooking stands as the primary cause of home winter fires, with 5-8 p.m. identified as the most common time for such incidents. Installing a working smoke alarm can significantly reduce the risk of fatalities in reported fires.

Additionally, citizens are urged to exercise caution with space heaters and familiarize themselves with potential risks associated with home heating equipment.

For regular fire safety tips and updates from the Mount Pleasant Volunteer Fire Department, follow them on Facebook by searching “Mount Pleasant Volunteer Fire Department.”

Erin Hill  – Gadsden County News Service