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Keep the Wreath Red
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By Member Ed St. Louis
December 2, 2019

“Keep the Wreath Red”

As you drive by the BFPD Station One, you will notice our red-lit wreath.

In 1954, Naperville part-time firefighter Paul Boecker pitched a new idea. Just 23 years old, Boecker was ahead of the times, believing that fire prevention began in the community. His hope was to increase holiday decor fire risk awareness by placing a red-lit wreath outside the fire station where community members could visualize bulbs changed to white; representing a holiday-related fire. This coined the phrase “keep the wreath red”. By 1980, Boecker had worked his way to Fire Chief and the holiday prevention campaign, now widespread, was adopted by the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association.

This holiday season, let us continue in the spirit of prevention.

Be safe and “Keep the Wreath Red". Some suggestions for holiday safety are:

● Artificial trees are safer than real trees.
● If purchasing a real tree, select one which is deep green in color and has a strong scent of pine & does not easily lose needles.
● Keep holding stands for real trees full of water.
● Place trees away from heat sources and a safe distance from exits.
● Do not rely on chemical sprays to make a tree flame resistant.
● Keep extension cord use at a minimum.
● Use only lights that are approved by a national testing laboratory.
● Unplug lights at night.
● Do not use indoor lights outdoors.
● Do not overload electrical outlets or circuits.
● Do not leave candles unattended.
● Keep candles away from combustible materials.
● Keep matches, lighters, and candles out of children's reach.
● Trim all candle wicks to one-quarter inch and extinguish all candles prior to the burning of the last half-inch of wax.
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