Candle Fire Safety
Fires caused by the use of candles in our homes have increased dramatically over the last two decades. Sales of candles are up, $2.3 billion in 2001 and it is estimated that 7 of 10 homes use candles today. Candles cause an estimated 15,600 fires in residential structures, 150 deaths, 1,270 injuries, and $539 million in estimated direct property damage each year.
- Over half (55%) of home candle fires start because the candle is too close to some combustible material.
- More candle fires (38%) begin in the bedroom than in any other room. Falling asleep is a factor in 12% of home candle fires and 26% of the associated deaths.
- Half of all civilian candle fire deaths occur between Midnight and 6am.
- December is the peak month for candle fires; Christmas is the peak day.
- Young children and older adults have the highest death risk from candle fires.
- The risk of a fatal candle fire appears higher when candles are used for light.
CANDLE FIRE SAFETY RULES
Some simple fire safety rules related to the use of candles can significantly reduce the possibility of a devastating fire in your home.
- Allow nothing that can burn within a one foot safety circle around a burning candle.
- Don’t put candles in windows near blinds or curtains.
- Never put candles near Christmas trees, decorations, clothing or paper.
- Trim all candle wicks to ¼ inch; put out the candle when it burns down to 2 inches high.
- Always extinguish candles after use, when leaving the room, and when going to bed.
- Keep candles out of children’s and pets reach. (Keep matches and lighters away too!)
- Use sturdy metal or glass holders that won’t tip over, that are big enough to collect melted wax.
- NEVER LEAVE LIGHTED CANDLES UNATTENDED, and burn candles only with constant adult supervision.
- Keep away from flammable liquids as the flame can ignite fumes.
- Flashlights are safer than candles during power failure.
- Avoid carrying lit candle and don’t use a lighted candle in a closet looking for things.
- Never use a candle for light while refueling equipment with kerosene or gas. The flame will ignite fumes.