Christmas tree ornaments promote holiday fire safety

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FOND DU LAC, Wis. (WBAY) - With Thanksgiving over, many are turning their attention to Christmas. One local fire department is teaming up with Shriner's Hospitals for Children to make sure families stay safe this holiday season.

'Tis the season to walk the lot, searching for the perfect Christmas tree.

"We got White Pine, Scotch, we got Frasers," says Tom Willet a worker at Fond du Lac's A&W Lot.

While a live Christmas tree can help make your house festive during the holiday season, it could also lead to a potentially dangerous situation. National statistics show that on average about 200 house fires are caused by Christmas trees each year. Those fires lead to about sixth deaths and more than a dozen injuries.

As part of its educational mission and "Stop Burn Injury Program" through Shriner's Hospitals for Children, the Shriner's came up with Christmas tree ornaments that offer holiday fire safety tips. The group group has offered to donate the ornaments to fire departments across our area.

Shriner Eugene Reece adds, "For us, it's one of those opportunities to get the message out, get education out and try to prevent kids ending up in one of our burn centers."

The Fond du Lac Fire Department is taking advantage, teaming up with Shriner's and the biggest tree lots in the city. Anyone who buys a tree at Gilles or the A&W lot in Fond du Lac receives one of the ornaments.

Tom Willett says, "We go them on the trees, as you can see around here, as many as we can get on them.//We tell the people when they buy the trees to read them."

The tips on the ornaments, like to water your tree daily and keep the tree away from heaters and open flames may seem like common sense, but according to the fire department the ornaments are important reminders to hopefully avoid a holiday incident.

"We want to spread that holiday message to make sure that everyone is able to enjoy the holiday season and stay fire safe and that way, not only our community can enjoy the holiday season but the firefighters can as well," says Lt. Jason Roberts from the Fond du Lac Fire Department.