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Walla Walla Fire Department to display wreaths to remind Residents about fire safety during the holidays


November 26, 2020

WALLA WALLA—It’s that time of year when the temperature drops, the days get shorter, and there is a buzz in the air about the upcoming holiday season. For those preparing to celebrate the holidays, the Walla Walla Fire Department would like to remind you to take steps to help ensure the safety of your home and family.

As the winter months settle in, and particularly around the holiday season, the number of structure fires tends to increase. This upsurge, typically starting around Thanksgiving and stretching through the new year, is due to unintentional and mostly avoidable accidents.

This year, the WWFD would again like to involve the community in a risk-reduction program titled “Keep the Wreaths Red.” The program is simple, yet it offers the public a visual reminder to think about fire safety during the holiday season.

Starting today, a wreath decorated with red lights will be mounted at each of Walla Walla fire stations, at the corner of 12th Avenue and Poplar Street, and at Wilbur Avenue and Tacoma Street. For every fire that happens from today through New Year’s Day, WWFD will replace one of the red bulbs with a white one to signify a fire has occurred.

“As you drive down Poplar and Wilbur, we invite you to glance at the wreaths and be reminded that fire safety is everyone’s job. We hope the community will help us keep the wreaths red by keeping safety at the forefront during this holiday season,” WWFD Capt. John Knowles said. “Have a wonderful holiday season, stay safe, and check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.”

Fire statistics and safety tips

For many people, holiday fun begins in the kitchen. From testing family recipes to decorating cakes and cookies, everyone enjoys being part of the preparations. However, the National Fire Protection Association reports many fires also start in the kitchen:

• Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day, the day before Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas Eve.

• Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in cooking fires.

• In 2018, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,630 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving.

• Cooking caused almost half of all reported home fires and home fire injuries, and it is the second leading cause of home fire deaths in 2014-2018.

Keeping fire safety top of mind in the kitchen is important, especially when there’s a lot of activity and people at home. Here are a few simple safety tips from the NFPA to remember as you warm up the oven to start that mouth-watering meal:

• Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop.

• Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.

• Keep children away from the stove.

• Make sure panhandles on the stovetop are out of the reach of children.


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