Do you love the smell of all the candle scents available today? Do burning candles give your home that “comfy and cozy” feeling? Do you dim the lights in your home and burn candles to give your home more ambiance? Candles can be a great addition to your home; however, when burning candles, you need to be aware of the possible dangers.
The National Fire Protection Association reports that, while deaths from residential fires have decreased in the last several years, those caused by candles have increased dramatically. Candle deaths increased 375 percent from 1980 (40 deaths) to 2005 (150 deaths). Candles cause an estimated 16,000 home fires each year. In most cases, candles triggered house fires when they were left unattended, were tipped over, and ignited nearby combustibles. Almost half of home candle fires start in the bedroom; mattresses and bedding are the most common items to ignite. A child playing with or near the candle is one of the biggest contributors to candle fires; drinking excessively and falling asleep leaving the candle burning is another.
When using candles, we all should practice the following safety tips:
- Always keep matches, lighters, and candles away from children.
- Never leave burning candles unattended.
- Keep combustible materials far away from candles.
- Do not put candles in a location where children or pets could knock them over. Be aware that candles and rambunctious puppies don’t mix.
- Use only nonflammable candleholders that are sturdy and hard to tip over.
- Always trim the wicks before lighting.
- Do not burn a candle all the way down to where it is too close to the holder or container.
- Use flashlights rather than candles when you have a power outage.
Personal Lines Customer Service Representative
Source: International Risk Management Institute, Inc.