GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) – As the holly and tinsel garlands go up this holiday season, Gainesville Fire Rescue is also decorating, but with a bigger purpose in mind.
Fire stations around Gainesville are putting up wreaths with green lights. The lights will turn red every time GFR responds to a house fire this December. The "Keep the Wreath Green" campaign is an interactive way to remind residents to practice fire safety precautions.
Firefighters said they want to remind residents that all holiday decorations, candles, holiday cooking and space heaters can all cause fires. Keen advise residents to trim any dead leaves off their trees and replace broken Christmas lights.
Chris Keen, a GFR lieutenant paramedic, has seen a general uptick in house fires around this time of the year.
"It's just a way to remind the public to stay safe and give them a little visual cue to remain safe; if starts turning red there's increased fires around the area, so they can stay a little safer," Keen said.
Fire departments across Gainesville hope they can keep all of the lights on their wreaths green throughout the month.