Nick Robertson/Connect Savannah
The fire-safety wreath hanging at Savannah Fire headquarters in December.
The number of structure fires occurring during the holiday season in Savannah is dropping since the 2017 introduction of the city’s Keep the Wreath Green Holiday Fire Safety Awareness Program, according to a Jan. 4 press announcement by Savannah Fire.
During the 2020 holiday season – defined by Savannah Fire as lasting from Nov. 16, 2020 to Jan. 2, 2021 – there were ten structure fires in Savannah, which displaced 12 people. Since the Keep the Wreath Green Program began in 2017, there has been a 56.5% decrease in holiday-season structure fires.
Keep the Wreath Green is a fire-safety awareness program in which fire-safety wreaths with green lights are placed at Savannah Fire Headquarters and the Memorial Medical Center Campus from the week before Thanksgiving to Jan. 2. Each time a structure fire is reported during the holidays, one green bulb is replaced with a red bulb.
In 2019, there were 14 holiday-season structure fires resulting in two deaths and 27 displaced residents. In 2018, there were 22 holiday-season fires – one occurring at The Olde Pink House restaurant – that caused one injury and 30 displacements. In 2017, 23 holiday-season fires resulted in one death, two temporary business closures, and more than a dozen displacements. In 2016, the year before the fire-awareness program began, 28 holiday-season structure fires occurred.
“Structure fires are dangerous and devastating, especially during the holiday season,” stated Savannah Fire Chief Derik Minard. “The Savannah Fire Department works hard to keep the citizens of Savannah informed and prepared to prevent fires. I am pleased that our fire-safety education programs are making a positive impact in the community.”
The Savannah Fire Department also issues fire-safety tips and encourages Savannah residents to call 912-651-6756 for a free smoke alarm, smoke-alarm batteries, and home fire-safety surveys.