Keep The Wreath Red

Help Prevent Holiday Fires

As we approach the holiday season, the Redmond Fire Department would like to remind you to keep your holiday safe and happy. The Redmond Fire Department is teaming up with other fire departments across the country in the "Keep the Wreath Red" program. This year, the program will run from Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, November 26th) through Saturday, January 2nd, 2021. 

"Keep the Wreath Red" is a holiday fire safety program designed to increase fire safety awareness. The Redmond Fire Department has placed a wreath which is illuminated with red bulbs in front of Fire Station 11 at 8450 161st Ave NE. In the event of a holiday-related fire, firefighters will replace one of the red bulbs with a white one. The goal is to keep the bulbs on the wreath red throughout the holiday season. 

Below are some tips to help "Keep the Wreath Red": 

  • Christmas Trees: 
    • Cut one-quarter inch or more off the base of the trunk if the Christmas tree has been harvested over 4 hours. This fresh cut will encourage the free flow of water into the tree to preserve freshness.
    • Water, water, water; and don't let the water ever go below the fresh cut base. This will cause the base to seal and the tree to stop absorbing water. 
    • Display your Christmas tree in a cool place but out of a draft. Fireplaces can dry your tree prematurely. 
    • Water, water, water. Christmas trees are very thirsty and will use up to a gallon of water each day. Check the stand each day for water. When your tree stops drinking water—it’s time to remove it or discontinue lighting it.
  • Stringing holiday lights: 
    • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for connecting multiple strings. The general limit is three strings. Light strings with stacked plugs can usually accommodate greater lengths than end-to-end connections. 
    • Replace burned-out bulbs promptly. Empty sockets can cause the entire string to overheat. 
    • Make sure that the lights and extension cords you are stringing outside are rated for exterior use. Exterior lights, unlike those used inside the house, need to be weather-resistant. The same goes for any extension cords used outdoors. 
    • Don’t use outdoor lights indoors. They’re too hot for interior use. For the coolest bulbs and greatest energy efficiency, try LED lights, which come in a wide range of styles and colors.
    • Don’t attach light strings with nails or staples. They can cut through the wire insulation and create a fire hazard.  
    • Take exterior lights down within 90 days. The longer they stay up, the more likely they are to suffer damage from weather and critters chewing on them. 
    • Store lights safely. Tangled lights can lead to damaged cords and broken sockets. After the holidays, coil each string loosely around a stiff piece of cardboard, wrap it in paper or fabric to protect the bulbs, and store in a sturdy container until next year. 
    • Do not run cords underneath carpeting or throw rugs. 
    • Always turn off interior holiday lights when leaving or going to sleep. Never leave unattended.
  • Candles
    • If you do use lit candles, make sure that they are in stable candle holders that are at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn. 
    • Light candles carefully. Keep your hair and any loose clothing away from the flame. 
    • Don't burn a candle all the way down -- put it out before it gets too close to the holder or container. 
    • Never use a candle if you use oxygen in your home. 
    • Have flashlights and battery-powered lighting ready to use during a power outage. Never use candles. 
    • Blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed. Avoid the use of candles in the bedroom and other areas where people may fall asleep. 
    • Never leave a child alone in a room with a burning candle. Keep matches and lighters up high and out of children's reach, preferably in a locked cabinet. 
    • Keep pets away from lit candles. 

If you have any questions about these fire safety tips, please email: FirePreventionHelp@redmond.gov or ask a question on Facebook: www.facebook.com/RedmondWAFire