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Candle Fire and How to Prevent It

Bad news for date night

blow out candles to reduce the risk of house fire

Nothing is more warm and cozy than snuggling up in a candle-lit room. But that same light that radiates warmth into our hearts can have devastating effects if it spreads. Over the years, I have had the privilege to walk alongside people as they deal with the aftermath of a house fire. Many of these were cases of candle fire.

The National Fire Protection Association recently reported that deaths from residential fires have decreased in the last several years. However, those deaths caused by candles have increased dramatically. In 1980, there were 20 deaths from candle fires. In 2005, that number had risen to 150. That’s an increase of 650% over 25 years!

Today candles cause an estimated 16,000 house fires each year. In most cases, these fires are started when a candle…

  • Was left unattended
  • Tipped over
  • Ignited nearby combustibles

Bad news for date night, almost half of home candle fires start in the bedroom. Mattresses and bedding are the most common items to catch fire. Children playing with or near candles is another big contributor to candle fires. Drinking excessively, using a medication, or falling asleep with burning candles are other factors.

Candle Fire Prevention Tips

  • Consider…
    • Replacing traditional candles with LED candles.
    • Using candle-warmers instead of lighting candles.
  • Never…
    • Place candles near combustible materials.
    • Place candles in unstable or unsafe locations.
    • Burn a candle to the very end.
  • Always…
    • Store and keep matches, lighters, and candles away from children.
    • Have an adult present when candles are burning.
    • Use non-flammable candle holders which are sturdy and hard to tip over.
    • Use flashlights instead of candles during a power outage.