According to the National Fire Protection Agency, between 2003-2007 candle fires caused an annual average of 166 civilian deaths, 1,289 civilian fire injuries, and $450 million in direct property damage.
People have safely enjoyed using candles for centuries. Their colors and scents enhance everyday life and evoke memories of special events. Candles are a source of light and delight when used properly and according to manufacturers’ directions.
However, if certain precautions are not taken by the consumer, candles can also become a factor in a chain of events that can result in unnecessary injury and even death.
The following simple candle safety tips are important to memorize when using candles:
- Never leave a burning candle unattended.
- Never place a burning candle near something that can catch fire.
- Keep burning candles out of the reach of children and pets.
To help educate consumers about proper candle use, many U.S. candle manufacturers include directions on their candles and warning labels citing the warnings listed above.
Some additional tips that will help you use and enjoy candles safely are:
- Keep candles away from drafts and vents
- Trim wicks to ¼" prior to each use
- Normally don’t burn candles more than four hours at a time
- Extinguish taper or pillar candles when they get within 2" of their holders
- Always use containers that have been made for candle usage
- Discontinue use of a container candle when ½" of wax remains
- Keep matches, wick trimmings and foreign objects out of the candle wax
By following these simple steps, consumers can continue to enjoy candles. To learn more about candle safety, contact the National Candle Association at (202) 393-2210. (Information From National Candle Foundation)