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WWFD to display wreaths to remind residents about fire safety during the holidays

Post Date:11/21/2019 6:31 PM

It’s that time of year when the temperature drops, the days get shorter and there is a buzz in the air about the upcoming holiday season. For those preparing to celebrate the holidays, the Walla Walla Fire Department would like to remind you to take steps to ensure the safety of your home and family.

As the winter months settle in, and particularly around the holiday season, the number of structure fires tends to increase. This upsurge, typically starting around Thanksgiving and stretching through the new year, is due to unintentional and mostly avoidable accidents.

This year, the WWFD would like to involve the community in a risk-reduction program titled “Keep the Wreaths Red.” The program is simple, yet it offers the public a visual reminder to think about fire safety during the holiday season.

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Starting on Monday, Nov. 25, a wreath decorated with red lights will be mounted at each of Walla Walla fire stations — at the corner of 12th Avenue and Poplar Street, and at Wilbur Avenue and Tacoma Street. For every fire that happens from Monday through New Year's Day, WWFD will replace one of the red bulbs with a white one to signify a fire has occurred.

“As you drive down Poplar and Wilbur, we invite you to glance at the wreaths and be reminded that fire safety is everyone’s job. We hope the community will help us keep the wreaths red by keeping safety at the forefront during this holiday season,” WWFD Capt. John Knowles said. “Have a wonderful holiday season, stay safe and check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.”

Fire statistics and safety tips

For many people, holiday fun begins in the kitchen. From testing family recipes to decorating cakes and cookies, everyone enjoys being part of the preparations. However, the National Fire Protection Association reports many fires also start in the kitchen:

  • Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day, Christmas Eve, and the day before Thanksgiving.
  • Unattended cooking is by far the leading contributing factor in cooking fires.
  • Cooking equipment is involved in almost half of all reported home fires and home-fire injuries, and is the second-leading cause of home-fire deaths.

Keeping fire safety top of mind in the kitchen during this joyous but hectic time is important, especially when there’s a lot of activity and people at home. Here are a few simple safety tips from the NFPA to remember as you warm up the oven to start that mouth-watering meal that Uncle Jim from Tuscaloosa traveled 2,298 miles to taste:

  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey, and check on it frequently.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are cooking on the stove top.
  • Keep children away from the stove.
  • Make sure pan handles on the stove top are out of the reach of children.