Department warns of holiday dangers

By Dan Jacobson

While the approach of the holidays means cold weather and snow, the DeKalb Fire Department continues to remind residents that the dangers of fire are still very real during the winter months.

The DeKalb Fire Department announced the presentation of the eighth annual “Red Wreath Program.” On Wednesday at 10 a.m., wreaths decorated with red light bulbs will be placed on both DeKalb fire stations.

From Thanksgiving Day to Jan. 1, the fire department will change a red bulb in the wreaths to a white bulb if the fire department responds to an emergency incident related to the holiday season.

Assistant Fire Chief Peter Polerek said he hopes the wreaths will remind everyone of the dangers of fire during the holiday season. “Hopefully, this program will give residents some fire awareness during the holidays.”

He said while there was a low number of bulbs changed last year, the goal is to have none changed this year. “Last year there was a half dozen or less bulbs changed, some were related to vehicle accidents.”

“This year we hope not to experience any bulb changes,” he said. “We’re asking everyone to help us to keep the wreath red.”

Polerek offered some safety tips to help prevent a fire that could turn the holidays into a disaster.

Smoke detectors should be in every home and apartment, residents should not leave combustible materials around and should make sure yard equipment is stored in safe places, he said.

Polerek said there are some fire dangers associated with the setting up of a Christmas tree.

“Avoid the use of temporary wiring for decoration lights and if temporary wiring is used, don’t put the wires under combustible materials,” he said. “And remember to never use open flames for decoration.”

Questions concerning fire safety should be directed to Polerek at the DeKalb Fire Department by calling 758-3414.