Keep The Wreath Green campaign aimed at preventing fires, saving lives

Northwest Florida

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — The Pensacola Fire Department, in collaboration with the Escambia County Fire Rescue, has once again kicked off its Keep The Wreath Green Campaign.

The campaign, aimed at educating homeowners on the dangers of fires and tips to avoid them, started Dec. 1.

During the month-long campaign, 5-foot wreaths are on display at five city fire stations and 18 county fire stations. They are also placed at Ernie Lee Magaha Government Building downtown, Pensacola City Hall and Cordova Mall, according to a City of Pensacola media release.

Each time firefighters have to respond to a residential fire that causes damage, one of the wreaths’ green bulbs is replaced with a red one. The red bulbs are meant to remind homeowners the dangers of fires, said Escambia County Fire Prevention Officer Ray Melton.

“Our citizens ride by. They see our wreaths. It’s kind of a reminder of are we doing things to keep us safe?” Melton said.

So far, the fire departments have had to change two bulbs on the wreaths, after having responded to two residential fires since Dec. 1.

Melton said there’s a spike in fires during the colder winter months nationwide — Escambia County included.

“Most of that is cooking fires; 62% of our fires start in the kitchen,” Melton said. “Around the holidays, one-third of fires are caused by Christmas decorations and candles. In fact, the two red bulbs we have on our wreath now, a candle was involved in one and extension cords on a Christmas tree was the other.”

Melton gave News 5 some tips to keep you and your family safe this winter:

  • Make sure you have working fire alarms
  • Have your chimney serviced by a professional each year
  • If your chimney isn’t built for wood logs, don’t use them
  • Get a space heater with safety switches on it, so if falls over, it turns off right away
  • Space heaters need three feet of safety space around them
  • Space heaters should never be plugged into extension cords
  • You should have two ways out of every room

The campaign will run through December.

City of Pensacola residents who do not have working smoke alarms 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).


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