Remember that a candle is an open flame and it can easily ignite any combustible nearby. According to NFPA, during 2001, an estimated 18,000 home fires started by candles were reported to public fire departments. These fires resulted in an estimated 190 civilian deaths, 1,450 civilian injuries and an estimated direct property loss of $265 million. In fact, two-fifths (41%) of the home candle fires start in the bedroom. While candles provide a warm glow, they are not to be taken for granted.
Follow these safety tips while using candles in the home:
Extinguish all candles when leaving the room or going to sleep.
Keep candles away from items that can catch fire (e.g. clothing, books, paper, curtains, Christmas trees, flammable decorations).
Use candle holders that are sturdy, won't tip over easily, are made from a material that can't burn and are large enough to collect dripping wax.
Place candle holders on a sturdy, uncluttered surface and do not use candles in places where they could be knocked over by children or pets.
Keep candles and all open flames away from flammable liquids.
Keep candle wicks trimmed to one-quarter inch and extinguish taper and pillar candles when they get to within two inches of the holder or decorative material. Votives and containers should be extinguished before the last half-inch of wax starts to melt.
Candles & children:
Keep candles up high out of reach of children.
Never leave a child unattended in a room with a candle. A child should not sleep in a room with a lit candle.
Don't allow children or teens to have candles in their bedrooms.
Store candles, matches and lighters up high and out children's sight and reach, preferably in a locked cabinet.
During power outages:
Try to avoid carrying a lit candle. Don't use a lit candle when searching for items in a confined space.
Never use a candle for a light when checking pilot lights or fueling equipment such as a kerosene heater or lantern. The flame may ignite the fumes.