City ‘Keep the Wreath Green’ Fire Safety Campaign Ends with One Red Bulb
The City of Pensacola ended its annual “Keep the Wreath Green” Fire Safety Campaign with one red bulb, representing one residential structure fire with damage in city limits during the month of December.
The annual campaign is a partnership with Escambia County Fire Rescue with a goal of reducing the number of fires by promoting simple, life-saving holiday safety tips each day in December.
During the month-long campaign, 5-foot wreaths were on display at five city fire stations and 18 county fire stations, with wreaths also placed outside of the Ernie Lee Magaha Government Building downtown, Pensacola City Hall and Cordova Mall. Each time firefighters responded to a residential fire with damage, a green bulb was replaced with a red one to remind citizens of the dangers posed by fires in residential homes.
In 2018, two bulbs were changed to red on city wreaths, and in 2017, seven bulbs were changed to red.
“We are glad to see the number of red bulbs trending downward in recent years during this campaign, which we believe is a testament to our residents practicing fire safety throughout the holiday season,” Pensacola Fire Chief Ginny Cranor said. “Our hope is that residents will continue to practice fire safety every day and most importantly, make sure they have working smoke alarms in their homes to potentially save their lives in the event of a fire.”
According to the National Fire Protection Association, electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in 43 percent of home Christmas tree fires. Two of every five (40 percent) home Christmas tree fires started in the living room, family room or den. All of the fatalities and roughly three quarters (72 percent) of the injuries resulted from fires started in this area. The top three days for home candle fires are Christmas, New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve.
According to the United States Fire Administration, fires occurring during the winter claim the lives of over 900 people and cause over $2.1 billion in damage. Nationally, cooking is the leading cause of home winter fires, with 5-8 p.m. being the most common time for a fire to occur. A working smoke alarm cuts the chances of dying in a reported fire in half.
City of Pensacola residents are encouraged to call the Pensacola Fire Department at 850-436-5200 for smoke alarm assistance. County residents may call Escambia County Fire Rescue at 850-595-HERO (4376).