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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) – The Tallahassee Fire Department has wrapped up its annual holiday season, home fire prevention campaign.
The Keep the Wreath Green program uses green and red lights to show the number of home fires during a typically busy time of year. With the holidays behind us, the wreath at Dorothy B. Oven Park is coming down, as the Tallahassee Fire Department’s annual campaign is over.
“We love our ‘Keep the Wreath Green’ program,” said engineer Sarah Cooksey at the Tallahassee Fire Department. “It’s just a really unique way to remind residents to be safe.”
Each red bulb represents a residential fire from November 24, 2017 to January 12, 2018. The department says nationally, the main cause of these types of fires is cooking.
“Always make sure that you watch your children and your pets, and make sure that you don’t leave your oven or any kind of heating elements on when you leave your home or go to bed,” said Cooksey.
For the 2017 program, the fire department changed 15 red bulbs. Compare that to just 11 the year before. There were total damages $887,500 in 2017, significantly more than 2016.
“We had a slight uptick, but we’ve had some record-breaking cold temperatures this year, and I think that with people using their fireplaces and heating equipment and stuff like that — with these cold, cold temperatures, that just kind of increases our odds,” said Cooksey.
The department has also worked slightly more commercial fires, including a massive one at the international book mine. The wreath campaign has kept the number of residential fires relatively low, but TFD says prevention is a year-round effort.
“It just varies, you know,” said Cooksey. “Sometimes, we’ll go several months without having anything, but then all of a sudden, we have several fires.”
The fire department says the most common causes of residential fires this holiday season were cooking and heating-related.