In December, candles cause half of all home decoration fires, the National Fire Prevention Association says. December also is the peak time for candle fires. It’s no wonder, considering that traditional practices encourage us to light candles in living rooms filled with people, flammable trees, wreaths, decorations, and discarded wrapping paper. Don’t let the chaos of the holidays get out of hand.
People’s Trust Insurance does not recommend the use of candles in your home. In fact we suggest you use safe alternatives. But, with that said- if you are going to use candles- please, use them safely. Here are some safety guidelines to keep your family, home, and precious irreplaceable memories safe.
- Keep out of the bedroom: Though customers use 42% of candles purchased in the U.S. in the living room, 35% of candle fires start in the bedroom, according to the National Candle Association. Though some might think candles are romantic, they just don’t belong. Mattresses and bedding can be extremely flammable. Combine the flammability of bedroom objects with your penchant for, well, falling asleep there (before blowing out candles), and you have a recipe for disaster. Don’t put yourself at such a risk. Avoid using candles in bedrooms and sleeping areas.
- Countdown to ignition: Clean the candlewicks you plan to light and trim them down so that they measure about 1/8 of an inch to 1/4 of an inch to help prevent dripping and uneven burning. Before lighting them, also ensure that your candles stand at least 3 inches apart so they don’t melt into one another.
- Location, location, location: Keep your candles at least a foot away from anything flammable, including paper, wrapping paper, curtains, upholstered furniture, Christmas trees, clothing, bedding, or carpets. Also refrain from using candles near drafts, vents, ceiling fans, or air currents as they could flare up or emanate soot. Flammable objects such as paper, or curtains could be blown in to the flame and ignite.
- Go green: Always pick a green tree and water it very well. Otherwise any hazard, be it a candle or holiday lights, could cause it to burst into flames in seconds. If your family uses a fake tree, make sure it’s made of non-flammable materials.
- Watch it!: The most important rule in candle safety is attentiveness. Check your candle frequently, and don’t let it burn down too far. Never leave candles unattended; snuff them out before leaving the room or going to sleep. Don’t let your busy holiday schedule edge out safety concerns. Fire risk shouldn’t be taken lightly.
- Alternatives: 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.
- Extinguish candles after use and before going to bed.
- Flammable Materials: Keep candles at least 12 inches from anything that can burn. Never put candles on a Christmas tree.
- Kid Safety: Set a good example by using matches, lighters and fire carefully. Children should never be allowed to play with matches, lighters or candles. 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.
- Prayer Candles: 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!
Source: FEMA Candle Fire Safety
This Blog is sponsored by:
People’s Trust Insurance Company