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Candle Dangers & Candle Myths: Know The Difference

Fire Damage
Author: ServiceMaster Restore

Ten Safety Tips for Burning Candles

Candles have been a source of light, comfort, and ambiance for centuries. With the quick strike of a match, you can effortlessly infuse your home with warmth and captivating fragrances. Candles, when not handled with care, can turn from soothing to dangerous. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) reports that 7,900 home fires were started by candles between 2013 and 2017, resulting in an annual average of 80 deaths, over 720 injuries and $268 million in direct property damage. Use these ten tips on how to enjoy candlelight responsibly:

1. Never Leave Unattended. It cannot be stressed enough - never leave a burning candle unattended. If you leave the room or go to sleep, extinguish the flame.

2. Use Appropriate Holders. Place candles in stable, non-combustible holders on a flat surface. This prevents tipping and ensures the wax stays where it should.

3. Maintain Distance. Keep candles away from flammable materials. Aim for at least one foot of space between candles and anything that can catch fire.

4. Trim Wicks. Trim candle wicks to approximately 1/4 inch before lighting. This practice reduces smoking and large flames.

5. Avoid Drafts. Candle flames can be unpredictable in drafts, increasing the risk of fires. Position them away from drafts or use hurricane or chimney-style candle holders.

6. Keep Kids and Pets in Mind. Keep burning candles out of reach of children and pets. Educate them about the dangers of flames.

7. Extinguish with Care. Use a candle snuffer to extinguish the flame, which prevents hot wax from splattering. Blowing out the candle can lead to accidents.

8. Use Flameless Alternatives. If safety is a primary concern, consider using flameless LED candles, which provide a similar ambiance without the risks associated with open flames.

9. Follow Manufacturer's Instructions. Read and follow the manufacturer's instructions and warnings that come with the candles.

10. Stay Alert. Avoid the temptation to become complacent with candle safety. Remain vigilant and responsible when using candles in your home.

By remaining vigilant and keeping these candle dangers in mind, you and your family can enjoy the ambiance candles with less risk. Always use caution when lighting and using candles and remember to extinguish them completely before leaving the room. If the unexpected does occur, remember that you can count on the restoration professionals at ServiceMaster Restore® to get your home back to normal as soon as possible after a fire. Our teams are available 24/7/265 to help you move from crisis to resolution with confidence. Learn more about our residential fire damage services today.

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