From 2009-2013, U.S. Fire departments responded to an estimated 9,300 home structure fires that were started by candles. These fires caused 86 deaths, 827 injuries and $374 million in direct property damages. December has almost twice as many candle fires than any other month. Christmas eve and day typically record the most home candle fires. Home candle fires can be caused by contact with flammable material, horseplay and inattentive behavior and simply, falling asleep.
Therefore, you should:
- Never leave a burning candle unattended.
- Never burn a candle on or near anything that might catch fire.
- Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.
An electric candle warmer is a safer alternative than burning a candle. These devices, like crock pots, use low heat instead of an open flame to melt candle wax and allow the candle’s scent to permeate throughout a space. Candle warmers are readily available at department and specialty stores. Only purchase a candle warmer that is Underwriters Laboratory® (UL) listed.
Key Home Candle Safety Tips:
- Keep at least one foot, in all directions, between candles and combustibles such as decorations, bedding or curtains.
- Make sure that curtains are secured and cannot be blown over the candle by wind.
- Keep candles, lighters and matches out of the reach of children and pets.
- Never leave a lit candle unattended.
- Burn candles on sturdy, noncombustible holders that cannot tip over easily and are large enough to collect dripping wax.
- Keep candle wicks trimmed to 1/4” and extinguish them when there is 2” of wax remaining or 1/2” if the candle is in a container.
- Extinguish all candles before you leave the house or go to bed.
- Purchase candles that are properly labeled and made by a reputable manufacturer belonging to the NCA.
For more information on Candle and Fire Safety please visit National Fire Protection Association at (www.nfpa.org) and the National Candle Association at ( www.candles.org)