The Peoria Fire Department is using an annual campaign to remind people about holiday fire safety. The department is promoting its 23rd annual “Keep the Wreath Red” campaign.
Fire stations around the city switch the lights on their holiday wreaths from red to white for every fire they respond to between now and January 1st.
Chief Ed Olehy says the opportunity for house and structure fires seems to increase around the holidays. “Last year we still had 20 fires just through the month of December and through the holiday season. It totaled almost $900,000 in damage. So we are really hoping this year we are able to keep that number much lower.”
The chief says last year’s structure fires during the month of December included several arsons.
Some tips to avoid fires include making sure live Christmas trees are properly hydrated and keeping space heaters in an open area and free from clothing and other fabric.