Small and seemingly inconspicuous, candles are typical items in most homes that can cause dramatic damage. According to the National Fire Protection Association, candles were the cause of more than 8600 home fires. They were also to blame for 82 deaths, 800 injuries, and $295 million in direct property damage.
When used properly and safely, candles can be a beautiful and enjoyable part of the home.
Per the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, nearly 85% of candle fires can be prevented when three basic safety rules are followed:
- 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.
Other safety tips to keep in mind:
- 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.
- 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 National Candle Association.