With the days growing darker and winter setting in, a few candles scattered round the room can lend a warm glow to an evening in or add some festive cheer to the season’s celebrations such as Guy Fawkes’ night, Eid and Christmas.
But with over fifty fires started by candles every day, the Fire Kills Campaign is asking people to take extra care with candles this winter.
In 2010, Reckitt Benckiser, manufacturers of Air Wick candles, reported that 70 per cent of annual candle sales were made between September and February. So it’s no coincidence that between October and February every year candle-related house fires rise sharply, peaking at more than double the summer average in December.
The most important steps you can take to keep yourself and your loved ones safe include making sure your candles are kept away from flammable materials like curtains and putting out candles when nobody is in the room.
- 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