Like many of us, the Chapel Hill Fire Department puts up a wreath as part of their holiday décor.  For the past ten years, theirs has included a sign which shows many signs of good business. 


fire department wreath.jpgChief Deputy Matt Lawrence is in charge of the “Keep the Wreath Green” campaign designed to remind citizens of the dangers of the holiday season and to urge them to do their part in preventing deadly home fires.


To help citizens do their part, the fire department pumps out information – online, in the media and at Christmas tree lots. Sure.  Sure.  We think we know all that stuff.But it’s a hectic time and all it takes is one hurried holiday moment.


Lawrence says, “It’s a terrible thing to go through at any time, but especially during the holidays.”


When it went up on December 1, the wreath was covered in green lights.


It stayed green for 21 days.


On December 22, there was an apartment fire which was quickly extinguished.  One green bulb on the wreath was replaced with a red one.

wreath with one red bulb 2.jpg


On December 23, there was another apartment fire, also quickly extinguished.  Another green bulb on the wreath was replaced with a red one.


fire department wreath with two red bulbs.jpg


When the wreath came down yesterday, there were still just two red bulbs.



The “Keep the Wreath Green” wreath, sign and the entire campaign shows many signs of good business because:


1. It states a bold goal.

2. It’s out in public for all to see.

3. It invites the community to join in a common goal.

3. It shows progress toward the goal.

4. Everyone can see the progress every day.

5. It combines the loveliness and potential ugliness of the holiday season…hopefully snapping citizens out of the hectic holiday hubbub long enough to pay attention to the reminders shared by the fire department online, in the media and at Christmas tree lots.

7. “Keep the Wreath Green” is easy to say – easy to remember – easy to talk about.  Making it more likely to come to mind during a hurried holiday moment-that tries to trick us into ignoring that one missing bulb.  Or waiting til later to water the tree. Or leaving the tree on.  After all – we’ll only be gone a little while.

8. It makes the fire department’s mission for December very clear.

9. It gives them feedback on their efforts so they can make adjustments if needed.

10. It serves as a daily reminder of the importance of their work. Providing purpose.  And hopefully a point of pride.


And that – all of that – is good business.


Congratulations to the Chapel Hill Fire Department for leading this campaign, for leading it successfully and for providing us with good examples of good business.


Have you seen signs of good business in Chapelboro?  If so will you tell me about them and if possible send a picture? Write in comments section below.  Or email to


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Important Note from the Chapel Hill Fire Department: 

Although the holiday season is behind us, the Chapel Hill Fire Department urges citizens to remain vigilant in preventing fires, and to ensure that families are prepared and protected in the event of a home fire.  The cold winter months have the highest risk of fires due to heating equipment.  Please ensure that alternative heating supplies are used and maintained properly, and that every family has the protection of working smoke alarms provided in their home.

The Chapel Hill Fire Department offers citizens free home inspections and assistance with the installation and maintenance of smoke alarms to help make sure all citizens are adequately protected.  For more information contact the Chapel Hill Fire Department at (919) 968-2781.