More than 15,000 candle fires are reported annually! December is the peak time for candle-related fires, and one third start in the bedroom. More than half start when things that can burn are too close to the candle.
- Always keep a burning candle within sight. Extinguish all candles when leaving a room or before going to sleep.
- Never burn a candle on or near anything that can catch fire. Keep burning candles at least 12 inches away from furniture, drapes, bedding, carpets, books, paper, flammable decorations, etc.
- Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets. Do not place lighted candles where they can be knocked over by children, pets, or anyone else.
- Trim candlewicks to ¼ inch each time before burning. Long or crooked wicks cause uneven burning and dripping.
- Always use a candleholder specifically designed for candle use. The holder should be heat resistant, sturdy, and one that won’t tip over easily.
- Be sure the candleholder is placed on a stable, heat-resistant surface. This will also help prevent possible heat damage to counters and table surfaces and prevent glass containers from cracking or breaking.
- Be Careful when lighting candles. Keep hair and loose clothing away from the open flame.
- Keep burning candles away from drafts, vents, ceiling fans, and air currents. This will help prevent rapid, uneven burning, and avoid flame flare-ups and sooting. Drafts can also blow lightweight curtains or papers into the flame where they could catch fire.
- Don’t burn a candle all the way down. Extinguish the flame if it comes too close to the holder or container. For a margin of safety, discontinue burning a candle when 2 inches of wax remains or ½ inch if in a container.
- Never use candles if oxygen is being used in the home.
- Don’t use candles during a power outage! Have flashlights and batteries ready to go in the event of an emergency.
- Consider using the safest possibility, battery-operated flameless candles. They are widely available and operate on batteries rather than flame. They look and smell just like real candles!