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Candle safety - snuff out the risk

15 October 2018

In support of Candle Safety Week (15 - 21 October) Humberside Fire and Rescue Service is asking people to take extra care when using candles.

Over the last twelve months the Service has attended 16 fires that were caused when candles were either left unattended or simply set alight to bedding or curtains.

Candle safety - snuff out the risk

Steve Duffield, Public Safety Group Manager at Humberside Fire and Rescue Service, said:

“Although we don’t attend a high number of fires caused by candles, they do pose a risk if not used properly and it’s important highlight the potential dangers.”

As the winter nights draw in and the festive season approaches, the use of candles in the home increases. Candles have caused fires in most rooms of the house including bedrooms, kitchens, lounges and bathrooms.

“If an unattended candle catches fire it can develop very quickly and have a devastating effect. Using a proper candle holder is imperative. If tea lights are not placed in suitable holders they can over heat and catch fire in seconds,” Steve added.

To help you enjoy your candles safely, follow these top tips:

  • Never leave candles unattended always put them out when you leave the room
  • Ensure they are completely extinguished before you go to bed
  • Always place candles on a stable surface and in a heat resistant holder
  • Keep the wax pool clear of wick trimmings, matches and debris at all times
  • Burn candles in a well-ventilated room, but avoid drafts, vents or air currents. This will help prevent rapid or uneven burning, sooting and excessive dripping
  • Trim the wick to ¼ inch each time before burning. Long or crooked wicks can cause uneven burning, dripping or flaring
  • Follow the manufacturer's recommendations on burn time and proper use
  • Don’t move candles once they are lit - they can be very hot and be dropped easily
  • Place candles out of the reach of children and pets
  • Place candles away from flammable objects (like curtains)
  • Do not burn several candles close together as this might cause flaring (mainly with tea-lights).
  • Don’t place candles directly on to furniture or around the bath, always place them in a suitable holder
  • Use a snuffer or a spoon to put out candles.  It’s safer than blowing them out when sparks can fly.
  • Residents are reminded to fit smoke alarms on each level of their home and test them regularly. Should a fire break out, a working smoke alarm can give valuable time to escape