Welcome to Franklin County Emergency Services website...

This site is intended to provide information on events, activities, training and safety to the Fire and EMS community in Franklin County. Please forward any site content ideas or information including any department events you would like to place on the calendar to Car 2 at the Office of Emergency Services.

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CHRISTMAS TREE SAFETY TIPS

 

Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious.

Picking the tree

  • Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.

Placing the tree

  • Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 2" from the base of the trunk.
  • Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
  • Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
  • Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add water daily.

Lighting the tree

  • Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer's instructions for number of light strands to connect. 
  • Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.

After Christmas

  • Get rid of the tree after Christmas. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home. Check with your local community to find a recycling program. Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.
 
 

 

WINTER HOLIDAY FIRES by the NUMBERS

 
 
 
Project Holiday banner
Christmas trees
  • Between 2010-2014, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 210 home fires that started with Christmas trees per year. These fires caused an average of 6 deaths, 16 injuries, and $16.2 million in direct property damage annually. 
  • On average, one of every 34 reported home fires that began with a Christmas tree resulted in a death, compared to an average of one death per 142 total reported home fires.
  • Some type of electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in one-third (35%) of home Christmas tree fires.   
  • Twenty-three percent of Christmas tree fires were intentional. 
  • Two of every five (38%) home Christmas tree fires started in the living room, family room, or den.

Source: NFPA's "Home Structure Fires Involving Christmas Trees" report, November 2016

 


A live Christmas tree burn conducted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) shows just how quickly a dried out Christmas tree fire burns, with flashover occurring in less than one minute, as compared to a well-watered tree, which burns at a much slower rate.

Holiday decorations
  • U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 860 home structure fires per year that began with decorations, excluding Christmas trees, in 2009-2013. These fires caused an annual average of one civilian fire death, 41 civilian fire injuries and $13.4 million in direct property damage.

  • Ten percent of decoration fires were intentional.
  • The decoration was too close to a heat source such as a candle or equipment in nearly half (45%) of the fires.
  • One-fifth (20%) of the decoration fires started in the kitchen. One out of six (17%) started in the living room, family room or den.
  • One-fifth (20%) of the home decoration fires occurred in December. 

Source: NFPA's "Home Structure Fires Involving Decorations" report, November 2015.

Candles
  • Candles started 38% of home decoration structure fires. 
  • Half (51%) of the December home decoration fires were started by candles, compared to one-third (35%) in January to November.

  • The top three days for home candle fires were Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Christmas Eve.

Source: NFPA's "Home Structure Fires Involving Decorations" report, November 2015.
Holiday cooking
  • Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.

  • Cooking equipment was involved in 18% of home decoration fires. This can happen when a decoration is left on or too close to a stove or other cooking equipment.

Source: NFPA's "Home Fires Involving Cooking Equipment" report, November 2016.

Fireworks
  • Ten percent of fireworks fires occur during the period from December 30 through January 3, with the peak on New Year's Day.
 
 
 
 
 
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Emergency Services Staff

Director/Fire Coordinator

  Ricky Provost

Deputy Director/911 Coordinator

  John Bashaw II

Senior Communications Specialists

   Sandi Nichols

Communications Specialists

Thomas McLane

Keith Shackett

Administrative Aid

  Peggy Shaw

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Franklin County Emergency Services
55 Bare Hill Road
Malone, NY 12953
Non-Emergency: 518-483-2580
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