Candle Safety: What to Know, What to Do

Description: Candles can improve an environment and your mood with just a few minutes of burning, but while they are a lovely addition to your home, they also pose some risks. For any candle lover, understanding the risks and candle safety is an important step to protecting your household from fire hazards. 

After a long day, lighting a few candles and laying back to relax is one of the best ways to unwind. While candles are meant to improve your environment and create a relaxing atmosphere, they can also cause quite a bit of stress when not watched carefully. The last thing you need is a curtain lit on fire when you’re trying to relax! The good news is, reducing risks associated with candles is pretty straightforward, but it is important to always keep candle safety in mind.


 Household Fires Caused by Candles

Believe it or not, home fires due to candles are more common than you may think. According to the National Fire Protection Association, an average of 21 home fires are started by candles every day. Reducing the risk of fire hazards in the home is important for the safety of everyone in the household and will also help to prevent property damage.

Keep Long Matches or Lighters on Hand

To prevent burns while lighting your candles, long matches or lighters are recommended. This creates distance between your skin and the flame, significantly reducing the chances of suffering a burn. When using matches, always be sure to dispose of the used match safely. You should never leave a hot match on a flammable surface or throw it directly in the garbage. A good habit is to run used matches under cool water or keep a flame-resistant dish near your candles to rest matches on until they are cool enough to safely dispose of. 

Keep Wicks Trim

A simple way to improve candle safety around the home is regularly trimming candle wicks. All wicks should be kept at around a quarter of an inch. This prevents the flame from getting too large and reduces the chance of objects around the candle catching on fire.

Always Keep Candles Within Eyesight

You should never leave a candle to burn on its own. Candles should only be burning in rooms where someone is there to monitor and intervene in case of an emergency. If you are in another room and the candle catches something on fire, the flames may get out of control before you notice the smoke.

Place Candles in a Safe Place

This may seem obvious, but sometimes there are fire hazards around your candle that you may not even be aware of. A candle placed near the edge of a surface is prone to being bumped, especially in households with young children or adventurous pets. When placing your candles, always pick out a heat-resistant spot that is removed from household traffic.

Put Out Candles Properly

When it’s time to extinguish a candle, you should always suffocate the flame. This can be done with a fire ‘snuffer’ or with the candle’s lid if made of non-flammable material. Extinguishing your candles by suffocating the flame also prevents hot wax from splattering and potentially burning your hand. 

Candles are a fantastic addition to any home, but it is important users are always aware of fire hazards. Remember to trim candle wicks regularly and always keep a close eye on any lit candles.  

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