“Keep the Wreath Red” initiative in Port Arthur shows if there’s been a holiday-related fire

Published 12:24 am Friday, December 10, 2021

Port Arthur Fire Chief Greg Benson spoke to the Rotary Club of Port Arthur Thursday to discuss holiday safety facts, but to also debut a new initiative within the city.

Keep the Wreath Red is a program used in cities across the country, but has now been implemented within Port Arthur.

Those passing Fire Station No. 1 at 1215 Memorial Blvd. will notice a wreath in the door filled with red Christmas lights. Benson said each time there is a holiday-related fire within the city, one of the red lights will be replaced with a white one — hence the desire to keep it red.

Port Arthur Fire Chief Greg Benson speaks at the Rotary of Port Arthur meeting Thursday. (Monique Batson/The News)

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Other tips shared by the fire chief included:

  • Keep live Christmas trees away from fireplaces.
  • Do not burn wrapping paper in a fireplace, as it releases poisonous toxins.
  • Test smoke alarms before hosting holiday gatherings.
  • Ensure candles are put in a safe place and not in windows near curtains or holiday décor.
  • Avoid covering extension cords with rugs as stepping on them can cause them to fray and expose live wires.
  • Check to make sure artificial trees and ornaments are marked as flame resistant.
  • Inspect previously-used light strands to ensure they aren’t worn in any place.
  • Keep live trees watered, and extension cords far from the water in which it sits.