The following article is an Op-Ed from the chief of Wilton’s Fire Department, Ronald E. Kanterman and Wilton’s fire marshal, Rocco Grosso.

Imagine the local news reporting this headline:  “House Lost to Fire During Holiday Season.” The holidays are a time of joy, celebration, friends, family and good times. We can all have fun and be safe at the same time. A reminder to:

  • Keep live trees watered. They are very thirsty! Check the water level every day. Saw off the bottom before setting up. A fresh cut will absorb water much better.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are in good working order. Check them now and once a month throughout the year.
  • Never use candles on live trees–try flameless candles.
  • Keep children and pets out of the kitchen when you’re cooking.
  • Place menorahs away from combustibles and in an area where they can be seen/supervised from another room or place it where you are gathered for the evening.
  • Make sure all candles and other open flames are completely extinguished  before bed and check garbage cans and ash trays as well.
  • Take extreme care when cleaning out fireplaces or wood burning stoves. Use metal waste cans. Never put ashes, no matter how cold you think they are, in paper or plastic containers or bags.
  • Make sure holiday lighting is in good repair and don’t overload outlets. Don’t run extension cords under rugs. Dispose of old lights, wires and frayed cords.
  • Avoid too many plugs in one outlet and avoid overloading outlet strips.

If you have any questions or doubts, please call Fire Headquarters for advice at 203.834.6246.

Thank you for your continued generosity and kindness in participating in our Toys for Tots campaign ran and coordinated by the Wilton Firefighters, IAFF Local 2233, along with the U.S. Marine Corps.

From the firehouse to your house, the members of the Wilton Fire Department wish you warm holiday greetings and a happy, healthy and safe New Year.