Waterloo Fire Department continues holiday wreath tradition.
People driving by the Waterloo Fire Department, and many fire departments in central Wisconsin, will notice a brightly lit wreath hanging on the station. We are once again participating in the “keep the wreath green” campaign. The Department has a wreath filled with green lights. For every structure fire in the departments’ coverage area we replace a green bulb with a red one. We hope residents will ‘keep the wreath green’ by practicing fire safety during the holidays.
When buying a natural tree, test the freshness of the tree. A fresh tree is green, needles are hard to pull from branches and when bent between your fingers, needles do not break. Watch out for trees with a greenish tint to their trunk and branches; many growers spray trees with green paint to make them look more appealing. Before bringing in your natural tree, minimize the fire risk and maximize the freshness by keeping the tree outdoors for a few days in a bucket of water. Keeping a tree fresh and watered could make the difference between losing your house or your life. Because heated rooms dry out natural trees quickly, keep the tree stand filled with water. Check the water level daily, and add water as needed. A six foot tree will absorb one gallon of water every two days.
If you’re purchasing an artificial tree, make sure it bears the “fire resistant” label. While this type of tree can catch fire, it will resist burning and should extinguish quickly. When displaying your tree, make sure the tree is away from fireplaces, portable heaters, and heater vents. Also, ensure the tree is not obstructing doorways and is not placed in high traffic areas.
When hanging holiday lights, either on your tree or outside, do not connect more than three strands of lights per single extension cord. Make sure you do not overload electrical outlets, extension cords or circuits. Only one extension cord should be used per outlet. Do not run power cords underneath rugs or carpets. Use only lights tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory, such as Underwriters’ Laboratories (UL). All lights, new or old, should be inspected for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Lights should only be used for their intended purposes.
Use candles with care. Keep candles out of reach of children and pets. Burn candles inside a one foot circle of safety, free of anything that can ignite. Use sturdy candleholders that will not tip over. Never leave a burning candle unattended.
Have your chimney and fireplace inspected by a professional to make sure it’s clean and free of obstructions. Be sure the fireplace is covered with a metal screen or glass doors to prevent the spread of sparks and fire.