Many people use candles throughout their homes to decorate and to project a relaxing atmosphere. Here is some information that was put out by The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), The National Candle Association (NCA), and a local insurance company. The National Candle Association (NCA) states that candles are used in seven out of ten households, nation wide.
Most people don’t consider candles as an open flame or a hazard, but the number of fires caused by candles is increasing. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that in 2005, candles in the home caused an average of:
- 15,600 fires,
- 150 civilian deaths,
- 1270 injuries,
- An estimated property loss of $539 million.
The NFPA offers the following advice:
- Use candles only with constant adult supervision.
- Extinguish all candles when leaving a room or going to sleep.
- Keep candles away from items that can catch fire, such as Christmas trees, clothing, paper or curtains.
- Place candles and candle holders on a secure piece of furniture. Make sure candleholders are non-combustible and large enough to collect dripping wax.
- Do not place lighted candles in windows, where blinds or curtains can close over them.
- Keep wicks trimmed to ¼ inch, and extinguish candles when they burn to within two inches of the holder.
- Do not use candles in places where they can be knocked over by children or pets.
During power outages:
- Use flashlights or battery generated lights.
- Avoid carrying a lighted candle.
- Don’t use a candle when looking for items in a closet.
- Never use a candle for light near a kerosene heater or lantern.
Well hopefully this advice will help all of us use safety and common sense when it comes to burning candles. Remember although most people don’t think of it this way, a candle is an open flame. It can be just as dangerous or worse than a match or a lighter.