Advocating fire safety through holiday wreath

For many, the holiday season is a time to share cheer with family and friends but that cozy time together can change quickly when flames erupt.

From Thanksgiving throughout the holiday season, home candle and holiday decoration fires peak, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Clay Fire Department is at work to change that through their "Keep the Wreath Red" program. It kicked off on Thanksgiving and will go until New Years.

“We saw a need from seeing fires over the holiday season starting from Thanksgiving through New Years so we thought this would be a great program to bring here to our community,” said Deputy Fire Marshall with Clay Fire Ron Melser.

A green holiday wreath is hung at Station Number 21 with all red light bulbs and the department hopes it will stay that way.

“The goal is to keep the whole thing red. We want everyone to be safe. This is a happy time, it’s time to be thankful for what you have,” Melser added.

The wreath serves as a reminder to practice fire safety for those who drive by and see it.

“When we change out the bulbs it’s for a fire that could have been prevented. If you see a white one on there, there was some kind of fire that could have been prevented,” he added.

Over the weekend, Clay Fire battled what they call the first preventable fire since the wreath was hung.

“Just the other day, we had a fire with a space heater. It was in a shed and they were trying to keep some cats warm during the season, during this time of the season," Melser said.

The department wants to remind people who use a space heater to keep it at least three feet away from anything that could be flammable.

Melser said the program started six years ago and they have seen a decrease in holiday fires the past couple years.

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