SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - When it comes to fire safety, the momentum of the holiday season is still going.
The Savannah Fire Department’s symbol of the holiday season no longer hangs on the Historic District’s Station 3.
“It is safely tucked away in storage with all new green light bulbs,” said Chief Derik Minard.
But the success represented on it will carry through the year - after the best results yet for Savannah Fire’s Keep the Wreath Green fire prevention program.
“Each time we have a structure fire, a green, a green light bulb is replaced with a red light bulb. But the idea is not to replace any of them. The idea is to keep the wreath green,” said Minard.
And the fire department contributed to Savannah’s greenest Christmas so far since the program started three years ago. Just 14 structure fires this holiday season, down from 22 last year and 28 the year before that.
“Unfortunately, we had two deaths as a result of that. We had 27 people displaced. But it is much lower than we had in the past. We want that number down even lower. Of course, zero would be the optimum. Of course, we have the human factor, but I feel we can continue to make an impact on that.”
They do that by talking to the community about fire prevention year-round and really ringing that bell during the holiday season.
“It’s a community awareness program and we get out with the public, we educate them on fire safety around the holidays with their decorations, with trees, candles, cooking. Anytime we have a structure fire, we go into the community the next day and we knock on doors and we talk to them about smoke detectors, batteries, we offer them safety surveys where we go through the home and bring awareness to the community where the fire was at.”
And they keep hitting their goal of having less during the holidays in Savannah.
“We’ve seen a dramatic decrease and we think that’s attributed to getting the message out, making people aware. We go to community meetings regularly and we talk about fire safety. And when we get close to the holidays with social media and media, we’re able to get our message out.”