Holiday Safety: Candles

Using Candles Safely

More candles are used in decorating during the month of December than any other month and more candle-related home fires are reported during this same time period than any other time of the year. These fires are usually caused by other decorations being ignited by a candle. By following the proceeding tips you can lessen your chances of having a candle-related home fire. 

  • Keep a one foot “circle of safety” around any candle to reduce the chance that the candle will ignite something on accident.
  • Place candles only on sturdy, non-cluttered surface. One should also place candles away from places where they may be knocked over or come in contact with clothing, curtains or other combustibles.
  • “Luminaries” or sand candles, used to light driveways or sidewalks should be filled with enough sand to prevent it tipping over or being blown over. These candles should also be put out before leaving the house or going to sleep.
  • Candles should never be left unattended, and should be out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Taper or column candles should be extinguished before they burn down closer than two feet from their base or holder. Votives or tea lights should be extinguished when they reach within 0.5-inch of their holder. Trim all candle wicks down to 0.5-inch.

By thinking before lighting, you can insure that the warm glow of candlelight doesn’t become hot flames of a home fire. For more information on candle safety or other fire related issues, please call the Liberty Fire Department at 816.439.4310.