According to the National Fire Protection Association, candles caused 9,930 fires, 126 civilian deaths, and $170 million in property damages in 1996. That is the most recent year that candle-caused fire data is available. The disturbing news is that this is an 82% increase since 1990. The majority of these fires are associated with candles that are left burning and unattended.
Go to any supermarket, gift shop, department store, or convenience store and most likely you will find a large selection of every type of candle imaginable; traditional candles, votive, thick ones, thin ones, one of every scent found in nature and hundreds of others as well. The popularity of candles has increased enormously, but unfortunately, so has the number of fires associated with the burning of candles.
CANDLE SAFETY TIPS
- Position candles well away from combustible objects and materials, and well away from possible contact by pets or children.
- Place candles on heat resisting surfaces which will not transmit heat to the furniture or objects that they are placed on. Ceramics work well for this purpose.
- Candles should be placed inside heat resistant bowls that will catch the wax drippings and and secured in a holder to protect the candle from falling over, being blown over, or knocked down.
- NEVER leave a burning candle unattended.
- NEVER light a candle in a situation in which you might fall asleep before blowing it out.
- Install a smoke detector in every room where candles are burned in addition to the places described in the smoke detector safety page.
- Candles are enjoyable, calming, and fragrant. Don't ever forget that when you burn them, you are dealing with fire.