8 Candle Safety Tips to Prevent Home Fires
Candles can add a lot to a space and have become a staple of interior design in recent years. Lighting a candle during the wintertime is the epitome of coziness, but are you certain you are staying safe?
Though it might sound silly for smaller candles, any open flame is a potential fire hazard, and candles are no exception. They might be relaxing, but the safety of your home should be a priority. With that in mind, we have compiled some top tips for candle fire safety.
How to Burn a Candle Safely
Listed below are our top picks for how to enjoy candles without risking disaster. That may sound dramatic, but candles were responsible for over 7500 fires in 2018 alone. Luckily, with the right preventative measures, your candles should be totally safe.
Never Leave a Burning Candle
Leaving an open flame unattended for any amount of time is a bad idea. This goes for candles too. It is astonishing how quickly fires can spread. Even if you are leaving the room just for a minute, blow out that candle. Having to strike another match to relight it might feel wasteful, but it is better than having to replace all of your furniture.
Make Sure to Use a Suitable Holder
Candleholders should be both heat-resistant and stable. This will prevent your candle from falling over and potentially causing a fire. It isn’t good enough to prop your candle up and hope for the best. Specially designed holders exist for a reason!
Many surfaces that appear perfectly safe are not actually heat-resistant. Though most of a candle’s heat escapes through the top, the bottom can get pretty hot too. In some cases, they can even melt through plastic. A holder will prevent this outcome, therefore preventing a potential fire.
Don’t Light Them in Enclosed Spaces
Although most candle flames appear small, they actually produce a lot of heat. The flame itself doesn’t need to touch anything to cause damage; the excess heat alone can prove harmful. Don’t place candles beneath low ceilings or shelving, and never place them near curtains or similar flammable materials.
Keep Them Out of the Reach of Children and Pets
Children and pets, two words certain to instill fear in the hearts of interior designers everywhere. Whether it’s a cat or your three-year-old, the likelihood of knocking things over is high. Place candles responsibly, and never put one in a child’s bedroom.
Though there is no sure-fire way to guarantee where your pet may go (especially your cat), you shouldn’t be leaving your candle unattended anyway. When you decide to light a candle, try to keep it within your sight so you can intervene if your child or pet gets a little too close.
Don’t Move Lit Candles
Unless you are in Victorian England, navigating the halls of your haunted manor, you really don’t need to walk around with a lit candle. All you need to do is drop the candle or walk into someone, and the potential for a fire hazard skyrockets. If you really need to move a candle elsewhere, blow it out first.
Keep Loose Clothing or Hair Away From the Flame
As much as possible, try to keep your hair tied or held back when near the candle. Similarly, if you are wearing baggy clothing, try to keep it away from the flame. It is surprisingly easy to lose some of your spatial awareness around candles, given how seamlessly they blend into their environment.
The best strategy to avoid your hair or clothing from catching alight is to reconsider placement. Candles look lovely on your dining table, but if you find yourself reaching across often, you increase the likelihood of an accident. Try to place candles in areas that have minimal interaction.
Always Have a Smoke Detector
Last on our list, but arguably the most important: your home needs a smoke detector. As we mentioned before, fires spread astonishingly fast. Whether a candle or a culinary mishap causes it, you need to know ASAP if a fire has started in your home. A smoke detector is essential for this and could be the difference between life and death.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a Candle in a Glass Jar Start a Fire?
Yes. While a glass jar reduces the access the flame has to flammable materials, a candle can always start a fire.
Where is it Safe to Place a Candle?
Somewhere has open space above it and is not near anything that could catch fire, such as curtains or even clothing sleeves.
Is it OK to Sleep with Candles Lit?
No. Open flames should never be left unattended.
Can Candles Explode?
No, but they still present significant fire risks that are often underestimated.
What Happens if You Put Water on a Burning Candle?
The water is boiled by the melted wax, causing a combustion effect that can cause severe burns.
If your home has recently fallen victim to fire damage, or you would like further advice on how to prevent fires, contact All Dry USA today! Our experts are happy to answer any queries you may have about how to keep your home safe.
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