Causes and Circumstances of Home Candle Fires
- On average, 42 home candle fires are reported every day.
- More than half of all candle fires start when something that could burn, such as furniture, mattresses or bedding, curtains, or decorations is too close to the candle.
- In one-fifth (20%) of candle fires, the candles are unattended or abandoned.
- Over one-third (36%) of home candle fires begin in the bedroom.
- Falling asleep is a factor in 12% of home candle fires and 36% of the associated deaths.
- December is the peak time of year for home candle fires. In December, 13% of home candle fires begin with decorations compared to 4% the rest of the year.
- One-half of home candle fire deaths occur between Midnight and 6 am.
- Young children and older adults have the highest death risk from candle fires.
- The risk of fatal candle fires appears higher when candles are used for light.
Candle Fire Safety Tips
- Consider using battery-operated or electric flameless candles and fragrance warmers, which can look, smell and feel like real candles – without the flame.
- If you do use candles, ensure they are in sturdy metal, glass or ceramic holders and placed where they cannot be easily knocked down.
- Avoid using candles in bedrooms and sleeping areas.
- Extinguish candles after use and before going to bed.
- Keep a certified fire extinguisher in your home at all times
- Keep candles at least 12 inches from anything that can burn.
- Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.
- Never use a candle where medical oxygen is being used. The two can combine to create a large, unexpected fire.
- Always use a flashlight – not a candle – for emergency lighting.
- Never put candles on a Christmas tree.
- When using in home worship, don’t place lit candles in windows, where blinds and curtains can close over them, or pass handheld candles from one person to another. To lower the risk of fire, candles should be used by only a few designated adults.
- And NEVER leave burning candles unattended!
Keep your candles clear of fabric. This includes your clothing, curtains and carpets. The best way to do this is to place it on a tray or in a firm holder, warmer or jar. Make
sure you position your candle on a hard surface, away from draughts, which could blow fabric onto the flame.
REMEMBER! The first rule of firefighting is to save lives first, and property second! IN CASE OF A FIRE, get yourself and your family to safety before attempting to extinguish any fire. Only if you can do so without endangering yourself or others should you use firefighting aids on hand. Remember, objects can be replaced, people can’t! Never re-enter a burning building