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Keep the Wreath Green 2017

Post Date:12/01/2017 4:19 PM

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Keep the wreath green

It is time for Chapel Hill residents to join the Fire Department in our annual “Keep the Wreath Green” campaign.

Half of home heating fires are reported during the months of December, January, and February.

Throughout December 2017, the Chapel Hill Fire Department will display an illuminated wreath on the front of Fire Station No. 1, located at 403 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. This wreath will begin the holiday season filled with green bulbs.  For each residential structure fire in Chapel Hill, a green bulb will be replaced with a red bulb.

You can help us “Keep the Wreath Green” by using the following safety tips:


  • Choose holiday decorations that are made of flame-resistant, flame-retardant, or non-combustible materials;
  • Remove any obstacles from walking areas; and
  • NEVER leave candles unattended.


  • Inspect lighting before use, making sure all wires, bulbs and connections are safe. Discard any lights with exposed wires, broken insulation, cracked or missing bulbs, or other defects;
  • Use lights listed by an independent testing laboratory;
  • Avoid the use of drop cords to operate holiday lights; and
  • Turn off all holiday lights when you are away from home.


  • Have the tree lot operator provide a “fresh cut” on the trunk by removing ½ to 1 inch of the base of the tree. This allows the tree to efficiently absorb water;
  • Immediately place the tree in water and continuously keep the tree watered while in the house
  • Look for signs of freshness on live trees by lightly pulling branches through your closed fist.  Properly hydrated trees should retain their needles during this test;
  • Keep a close check on the dryness of the tree and remove the tree when needles easily fall off;
  • Do not locate trees near heat ducts, open flames, or in front of doors or windows that may be used as a means of escape from your home; and
  • In conjunction with the Keep the Wreath Green program, the Fire Department has placed tree tags on Christmas trees at local sales lots to provide important safety tips involving Christmas trees and holiday decorations.  The design of this program is to put critical life-safety information in the hands of the families using live trees in their homes.

Enjoy your holiday season by practicing fire safety every day and help us “Keep the Wreath Green!”  As always, ensure there is a working smoke alarm on each level of your home and practice fire escape plans with all family members and holiday guests.

For additional fire, life safety and consumer product information and interactive materials, please visit the below web sites:


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