Candle Burning Safety Tips
Candles can create a festive atmosphere while adding beauty and warmth to any special occasion. But candles can be dangerous when abused. Candle-related fires are on the rise, having tripled in number since 1990. The National Fire Protection Association reports that up to 40% of those fires started in bedrooms, while the living room, family room, or den were the leading areas of origin for candle fire deaths.
Why is candle safety important?
Half of the home candle fires occurred when some type of combustible was too close to the candle; an unattended or abandoned candle was a factor in 18% of these fires. Falling asleep was a factor in 12% of the incidents. During the colder months, home fires and home fire-related deaths are more likely.
Candles are an excellent way to introduce seasonal scents into your home. They also allow you to personalize each room in your house. But, when candles are not burned properly, they may pose a dangerous fire hazard.
How do you burn candles safely?
I’ve compiled a list of candle burning safety tips to help you burn your candles safely.
1. The first thing to remember is that you should never leave a candle burning unattended. It may sound like simple advice, but a fire can start in a matter of seconds. I don’t mean you have to sit in a chair and constantly watch a burning candle, but it should be visible from anywhere in the house.
2. The next thing to keep in mind is the importance of placing a lit candle on a sturdy and heat-resistant surface. We should never place candles on plastic or flammable surfaces. These surfaces may become unstable from the heat and cause the candle to fall. You should also avoid placing a candle on a low table where it could be knocked over by your pets or by passers-by.
3. Candles should also be placed so that they are out of reach of the children and pets. If you place a candle on a table, ensure that it is in an area where a cat cannot jump to it. When placing a candle on a dining table or countertop, make sure that the candle is far enough away from the edge that a child cannot grab it.
4. When placing candles on bathroom counters or shelves, you should always make sure that they are at least four inches away from other items. It will help reduce the risk of anything igniting.
5. If you choose to place candles in high-traffic areas, you must place them somewhere safe. The best place for placing candles in these areas is on shelves or tables that you are sure will not be bumped into it.
6. One of the most common causes of fire-related candle use is when they are placed too close to curtains. A breeze may cause the curtain to blow into the flame if the window is open, resulting in a fire. If you leave your windows open regularly, you should never place a candle near them.
7. When burning a candle, it should always be in a holder or jar. If the wick should become too short while the candle is burning, the holder will extinguish the flame. However, if you leave a candle unattended on a surface, the surface may become burned and possibly spread.
8. Please keep burning candles away from furniture, drapes, bedding, carpets, books, paper, flammable decorations, etc. It is always best to burn candles in a well-ventilated room. Keep burning candles away from drafts, vents, and air currents as a general rule of thumb. It will help prevent rapid, uneven burning, smoking, and excessive dripping. Ceiling fans, stove fans, or fans sitting on counters can cause drafts. These drafts can also blow lightweight curtains, something portable on your counters, or papers into the flame where they could catch fire.
9. For your best continuous burn, keep the wick trimmed to 1/4 inch and trim the wick after the candle has cooled. In my mind, the most important rule of thumb would be to keep burning candles away from children and pets. One does not know when a child will run around the house, turning cartwheels, shaking a blanket, or chasing a cat or dog and accidentally bumping into the table where the candle is lit. The candle wax could either spill all over the table or fly into the child’s face. Please do not place lit candles in areas where they could be knocked over by children, pets, or anyone else.
10. Refrain from using candles unless a smoke alarm is installed on every floor and in every sleeping area. Replace the batteries in the alarms at least once a year and test them once a month. Plan and practice several fire escape routes from each room of your home and identify an outside meeting place.
These safety tips are pretty straightforward, but some people ignore them. Please don’t be one of them. Candle making is a fun and safe hobby, but you must know the fire hazard and take it seriously.