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Keep the Wreath Red

The Grayslake Fire Protection District urges everyone to help “Keep The Wreath Red”

 The Grayslake Fire Protection District will place a wreath, which is illuminated with red bulbs in front of all three firehouses and also on this website.  If a fire occurs during the Holiday Season, in which holiday decorations are determined to be involved, one of the red bulbs will be changed to a white bulb.  This will serve as a reminder of the safety precautions that should be taken during this Holiday Season.


 The Grayslake Fire Protection District urges the citizens of all communities to take time to help “Keep The Wreath Red”, and eliminate unwanted fires by providing a fire safe environment at home and work.

 The Grayslake Fire Protection District lists precautions that can be taken by residents, calling everyone’s attention to the following safety suggestions:



Your fireplace is a source of warmth and heat.  Before starting your fire, be sure to remove all paper and wood decorations from the immediate area.  BE SURE THE FLUE IS OPEN.  Use a grate to burn materials on, in the fireplace.  Avoid prolonged over-firing.  This may ignite the structure through overheated hearth or fireplace walls where the mortar has become dried and dropped out because of excessive heat.  Never use flammable liquids to light the fire, always keep the fire box area clean of ashes and embers and make sure they are completely cooled before taking the ashes or embers into a storage area.  Avoid burning garbage, dried decorations, wrapping paper, etc., in fireplaces as these burn with a very hot flame and may ignite accumulated creosote or cause damage to the chimney itself.  It is also extremely important to have your chimney cleaned by a certified chimney sweep.



The use of candles during the Holiday Season has increased drastically over the years.  When using candles, always make sure that the candles are not close to combustible materials, such as curtains and other decorations.  Make sure all of the candles are snuffed out before retiring or leaving your house.



Christmas tree lights and other decorations set the theme for the Holidays.  Here are some important points to remember when using them.  Use only lights that have been tested for safety.  Identify these by a label from a listing agency, such as UL.  Check the labels on lights to be used outdoors to see that they are suitable for outdoor use.  Never use indoor lights outside.  Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, walls or other firm support to protect them from wind damage.  Never use more than the listed amount of light sets per extension cord.  Read the manufacturer’ instructions carefully, and do not use more than the number of light sets recommended in one circuit.  Always turn off lights when you retire for the evening or leave your home.  A short circuit in any electrical equipment could cause a fire.  Never use electric lights on a metallic tree.  All lights present the problem of shock and a casualty hazards for curious kids.



 The opening of Holiday presents is always special during this time of year.  Take special precautions when disposing of the wrappings.  Always dispose of wrappings immediately after opening.  Place trash in a metal container.  Don’t burn wrappings in the fireplace.  They may ignite suddenly and cause a flash fire.



Artificial trees (plastic) should bear a listing label.  Some unlabeled plastic trees burn with extreme vigor.  Do not rely on chemical coatings or sprays to make your live evergreen flame resistant.  Follow these safety rules when shopping for a natural tree:

A fresh tree will stay green longer and be less of a fire hazard than a dry tree.  To check for freshness, remember, check for color and scent.  Feel the needles; they shouldn’t come off in your hand. A fresh tree is deep green in color and has a strong scent of pine.  The trunk butt of a fresh tree should be sticky with sap.  After you get the tree home, cut a half-inch off the trunk and keep plenty of water in the stand.

Place your Christmas tree in a location away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources.  Be sure that it is out of the traffic pattern and primary evacuation route in case of an emergency.


For additional information on FIRE SAFETY please contact the Grayslake Fire Protection District’s Fire Prevention Bureau at:


weekdays 8-4.


From all of the members of the Grayslake Fire Protection District we send our sincere wishes for a Happy and Fire Safe Holiday Season.

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