Candles have always been very popular, first as a necessary source of light and now as attractive and fragranced decorations. Unfortunately, the small flames of candles present a very large risk of fire. According to the National Candle Association, there are more than 15,000 candle fires reported annually, and candles are responsible for roughly 4 percent of home fires. The vast majority of these fires are a result of misuse or inattention to candle safety guidelines. Here are some basic candle guidelines to ensure that you enjoy your candles in safety.
- A burning candle should always be supervised by an adult. Never leave a candle unattended.
- Extinguish all candles before leaving the room or going to sleep.
- Keep candles at least one foot away from anything that can burn.
- Always use candle holders to stabilize burning candles.
- Place candles in a safe place, where they cannot be knocked down and are out of reach of pets and children.
- In addition to keeping candles in a safe place, also be sure that lighters and matches are out of reach of children.
- If your home is at particular risk of candle fire, consider using battery operated, flameless candles.
- Trim candle wicks to within ¼ inch from the top of the candle to uneven burning and dripping wax.
- Keep burning candles away from drafts or vents.
- Observe candle manufacturer burning time recommendations.
- Keep the wax pool free of debris.
- Blow candles out; never extinguish a candle with water, as this can cause hot wax to splatter.
- Be very careful if using a candle during a power outage: a flashlight is a much safer source of light.
However, for one reason or another, if a candle does start a fire in your home, how can you make sure that your family stays safe? Always make sure that your smoke detector units are up to the building codes of your local area and that you change the batteries regularly. Also, having a home security system monitored by ADT will help to alert your local authorities quickly to help prevent the fire from spreading and to make sure that your family all get out safely.