Another holiday season is upon us, and The Merrill Fire Department is hoping you can once again help “Keep the Wreath Green,” by preventing fires. During the holiday season, the Merrill Fire Department is participating in the Keeping the Wreath Green Campaign. After each preventable structure fire, one of the green bulbs will change to red on the wreath. This will include preventable fires such as cooking, smoking, space heaters, candles, etc. This will serve as a reminder of the safety precautions that should be taken during this holiday season and throughout the year. The goal is to keep the wreath green.
The “Keep the Wreath Green” program has been a very successful visual reminder of the importance of promoting fire safety practices during the holiday season. During the holiday season, people bring decorations and add to the potential for fire load, the amount of things that can burn and catch fire in the home. Between 2011-2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an average 200 house fires that started with Christmas trees per year. These fires caused an average of six deaths, 16 injuries, and $14.8 million in direct property damage annually. Electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in two of every five (40%) of home Christmas tree fires. The “Keep the Wreath Green” program started on Thanksgiving Day 2017 and runs through New Year’s Day 2018. The wreath can be seen hanging on the corner of the Merrill Fire Station on Pier Street and Second Street.
The concept behind this campaign is to promote fire safety throughout the holidays and to give you helpful tips. The obvious goal is to have all green lights remaining at the end.
The wreath also features one non-green light that has a deeper meaning; the white bulb on the top of the wreath represents fallen firefighters who died in the line of duty.
“The Merrill Fire Department understands the significance of the one white bulb. Part of that bulb represents the one Merrill firefighter who gave the ultimate sacrifice, Lt. Thomas Beckman, who died in a structure fire in 1978,” said Fire Chief Dave Savone.
The fire department turned only one bulb red last year. The Merrill Fire Department hopes to keep all the lights green this year.