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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Burning Candles 1 of 2

1/22/2021 (Permalink)

Gray and purple candles that are lit. Gray and purple candles that are lit.

There are a lot of beautiful things that candles bring to a room in a house. They bring a nice ambiance, they are beautiful, and they can smell good. But candles carry an inherent risk: they can cause injures, and possibly a house fire.

Here are the statistics from the National Fire Protection Association. In a 5 year period (2013-2017):

  • Candles caused 2% of reported home fires, 3% of home fire deaths, 6% of home fire injuries, and 4% of the direct property damage in home fires.

  • Roughly one-third (37%) of home candle fires started in bedrooms. These fires caused 33% of the associated deaths and 51% of the associated injuries.

  • Falling asleep was a factor in 11% percent of the home candle fires and 19% of the associated deaths.

  • On average, 22 home candle fires were reported per day.

  • Three of every five (60%) of home candle fires occurred when some form of combustible material was left or came too close to the candle.

  • December is the peak time of year for home candle fires. In December, 12% of home candle fires began with decorations compared to 4% the rest of the year.

With those statistics in mind, here are some suggestions on how to burn candles safely:

Before lighting:

  • Always trim the wick to ¼ inch. Long or crooked wicks can cause flaring, dripping or uneven burning.

  • Keep the wax pool clear of debris, matches, and wick trimmings.

  • Make sure you have a candle holder designed for that specific candle. It needs to be heat resistant, sturdy, and large enough to contain drips.

Burn Candles in a well-ventilated room:

  • Stay away from drafts, vents or air currents. By doing that it will help uneven burning, sooting, and excessive burning.

  • It is recommended that candles do not burn longer than 4 hours, and cool at least 2 hours before relighting.

  • It is best to use long matches or a long lighter. Keep hair and loose clothes away from the flame.

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