Annual Keep the Wreath Green campaign launched Friday

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FLINT (WJRT) - (12/01/17) - Fire officials say this is the height of home fire season.

Those on the front lines making sure families affected by fires are able to recover are also spreading awareness.

This annual campaign by the American Red Cross of East Central Bay is all about the green.

Saginaw Fire Chief Chris VanLoo says there is always an increase in house fires this time of year, and not just because of Christmas decorations.

"It's the heating season, you know, the first time folks are turning on furnaces and things so," VanLoo said. "Unless the maintenance is done properly and things are in good order, we do see an uptick in fires like that and space heaters and things."

The American Red Cross offices in Flint and Saginaw launched Keep the Wreath Green Friday.

The goal of the campaign is to keep the lights green on wreaths at each office.

Each home fire reported means one of the lights will be replaced with a red one.

Making sure your Christmas tree is watered, among other things, can go a long way to protecting your family and home.

"Don't overload power strips, space heaters. Be very cautious. Make sure there's space around those.," VanLoo said. "You know, you have to make sure when you're outdoors [to] use outdoor electrical cords. You don't want to use indoor stuff outdoors."

The American Red Cross of East Central Bay responded to over 275 single family home fires last year.

Since then, they have been able to install over 5,000 new smoke alarms throughout the ten counties they serve.

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