City of Tallahassee, FL

12/01/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/01/2020 10:15

TFD Wants Tallahassee to Keep the Wreath Green

Annual Fire Awareness Program Begins the Holiday Season

December 01, 2020

The Tallahassee Fire Department has placed its beautiful holiday wreath at Dorothy B. Oven Park once again this season. The Keep the Wreath Green program is in its 11th year and serves as a visual reminder of the importance of home fire safety during the winter holiday season.

During the next five weeks, the TFD will replace each of the 50 green bulbs with a red one every time a residential fire occurs in our area. The wreath will be on display at the park, which is located at 3205 Thomasville Road, through Jan. 4, 2021.

'The holiday season is unfortunately one of the busiest times of the year for home fires,' Tallahassee Fire Chief Jerome Gaines said. 'We want to encourage the members of our community to be safe by providing the wreath as a visual reminder.'

The Keep the Wreath Green program began in 2010. By the end of that year's holiday season, 41 bulbs had been changed to red. Last year saw the lowest number of red bulbs, with only eight residential house fires occurring during the holidays. Below are statistics from the TFD Keep the Wreath Green program:

  • 2010 changed 41 red bulbs
  • 2011 changed 38 red bulbs
  • 2012 changed 22 red bulbs
  • 2013 changed 16 red bulbs
  • 2014 changed 15 red bulbs
  • 2015 changed 14 red bulbs, representing $1.3 million in residential damage
  • 2016 changed 11 red bulbs, representing $480,000 in residential damage
  • 2017 changed 15 red bulbs, representing $887,500 in residential damage
  • 2018 changed nine red bulbs, representing $308,000 in residential damages
  • 2019 changed eight red bulbs, representing $467,000 in residential damages

Here are 10 fire safety tips to help residents keep the wreath green in 2020:

  • Test all your smoke alarms and replace batteries, if needed.
  • Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a 'kid-free zone' of three feet around the stove.
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking. If you're using a fryer or grill outside, make sure it is attended as well.
  • Keep flammable objects away from heat sources. This includes keeping common kitchen items (like oven mitts, food packaging, towels and more) away from your stovetop.
  • Heat your home only with equipment designed and intended for heating.
  • If using a real tree in your holiday decorations, water it daily.
  • Discard light strings that are worn or broken.
  • Always unplug holiday lights before leaving the house or going to sleep.
  • Place candles and candleholders on a non-flammable surface to catch the melting candle wax. Never leave lit candles unattended.
  • Use a fire screen to keep embers and logs from escaping when using a fireplace. Make sure all embers are fully extinguished before turning in for the night.

The Tallahassee Fire Department wishes everyone a warm, safe holiday season. Stay connected to the department via its Facebook and Instagram accounts or by visiting

Contact Information

Alison Faris, Communications Department, 850-891-8533