Fire department begins 2021 Keep the Wreath Red program

Members of the Quincy Fire Department posed with a representative of Refreshment Services Pepsi outside the Central Fire Station, 906 Vermont, on Nov. 24 to kick off the Keep the Wreath Red program, which aims to raise awareness about fire safety through the holidays.

QUINCY — The Quincy Fire Department launched its annual Keep the Wreath Red program, which aims to raise awareness about fire safety through the holidays, on Wednesday.

Each fire station and event’s sponsors, Ameren Illinois and Refreshment Services Pepsi, will hang a wreath adorned with red lights through Jan. 1. Each time a house fire occurs over the holidays, one of the red bulbs will be changed to a white bulb.

Firefighter Tyler Staicoff said there is an increased risk of fires over the holidays and people can forget to take precautions when using space heaters, cooking turkeys or setting up decorations.

“Our goal is to remind the citizens of Quincy and the surrounding areas to be mindful and practice fire safety,” Staicoff said.

According to data from the National Fire Protection Association, 30% of house fires occur during the holiday season and these fires account for 38% of fire-related deaths.

Deputy Chief Michael Dade said over the last few years, the fire department has had to change fewer and fewer light bulbs.

“We’ve found that visual reminders help us attach a message to something we can put out and it just seems to work,” Dade said.

Staicoff advised residents to be sure to check their smoke detectors, always have a fire extinguisher available and never try to put out a grease fire with water. If residents feel that even a small fire or incident could get out of hand, Staicoff recommended that they call 911.

“We average a three minute response time in the town so we’ll get there pretty quick,” he added.

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