Whether you’re using candles to mark special events or create a charming atmosphere in your home, always remember that open flames are potential fire hazards. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the careless use of candles causes nearly 10,000 residential fires each year. Here are some helpful tips to avoid fires caused by candles.
Safety tips for avoiding fires caused by candles in your home
- Burn candles in well-ventilated rooms. Don’t burn too many candles in a small room where air exchange is limited.
- Don’t burn candles in rooms with vents, drafts, fans, or air currents to avoid rapid, uneven burning, flame flare-ups, and soot formation.
- Keep candles at least one foot away from flammable objects, such as furniture, curtains, paper, plants, or electronics.
- Burn candles in sturdy candle holders and place them on horizontal, stable, and heat-resistant surfaces.
- Keep lit candles at least three inches apart to ensure that they don’t melt one another.
- Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.
- Always supervise rooms with lit candles; blow them out if you leave the room or go to bed. Don’t use candles in bedrooms or other sleeping areas. Statistically, most fires started by candles occur in the bedroom.
- Avoid burning candles all the way down — put out candles when there are at least two inches of wax left or ½ inch if they are in a container.
- Don’t move candles when they’re burning since wax can drip and cause injuries. Extinguish candles before moving them.
- Avoid using candles during a power outage. Using or handling candles in the dark increases the risk of fire or injuries. Use flashlights and battery-powered lighting instead.
- Never use water to put out a candle to prevent hot wax from splashing. Use a candle snuffer to safely extinguish candles.
- Consider replacing burning candles with battery-operated flameless candles in your home. Most electrical candles look and smell like real candles.
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Although candles are potential fire hazards in homes, cooking equipment is the leading cause of home fires. Learn how to prevent kitchen fires in this article. For professional fire damage repair or smoke remediation services, contact your local PuroClean office.