Candle Safety Advice
Candles in the home are now getting a more and more popular way to add relaxation to our homes which has seen a large increase in the number of candle related incidents. As the sales of candles has gone up by 50% this year, this trend is going to continue and we should care that people are educated as to the dangers of candles and the damage they can cause.
Candles mark special occasions and create a special atmosphere. They also bring fire into your home. So treat them carefully.
The Do’s and Don’ts
- Always put candles on a heat resistant surface. Be especially careful with night lights and tea lights, which get hot enough to melt plastic. TVs are not fire-resistant objects.
- Put them in a proper holder. Candles need to be held firmly upright by the holder so they won’t fall over. The holder needs to be stable too, so it won’t fall over either.
- Position them away from curtains. Don’t put candles near curtains or other fabrics – or furniture. And keep them out of draughts.
- Don’t put them under shelves. It’s easy to forget that there’s a lot of heat above a burning candle. If you put it under a shelf or other surface then it can burn the surface. Make sure there’s at least three feet (one metre) between a candle and any surface above it.
- Keep clothes and hair away. If there’s any chance you could lean across a candle and forget it’s there, put it somewhere else. You don’t want to set fire to your clothes or your hair.
- Keep children and pets away. Candles should be out of reach of children and pets.
- Never leave a child alone in a room with a burning candle. Keep matches and lighters up high and out of children’s reach, in a locked cabinet and just as importantly, teach them safe habits so they don’t try something silly when you’re not around.
- Keep candles apart. Leave at least four inches (10cm) between two burning candles.
- Take care with votive or scented candles. These kinds of candles turn to liquid to release their fragrance, so put them in a glass or metal holder.
- Don’t move them when they’re burning. Extinguish candles before moving them. Also, don’t let anything fall into the hot wax like match sticks.
- Don’t leave them burning. Extinguish candles before you leave a room. Never go to sleep with a candle still burning. And never leave a burning candle or oil burner in a child’s bedroom.
- Use a snuffer or a spoon to put them out. It’s safer than blowing them, which can send sparks and hot wax flying.
- Double-check they’re out. Candles that have been put out can go on smoldering and start a fire. Make sure they’re completely out.
To a lot of us who have been enchanted by the light of a flickering candle, there is nothing that can replace it. It is practically expected for a nice dinner, and woe to the quality restaurant or café that does not have that tiny pinpoint of light on the table for a couple celebrating!