Candles are enjoyable, calming and fragrant, but don't ever forget that when you burn them, you are dealing with fire. Always take proper precautions to prevent your enjoyable experience from turning into a disaster. According to the National Fire Protection Association, twice the average monthly number of candle fires occurs in December. Christmas Day brings the most candle fires of the whole year; Christmas Eve and New Year's Day tie for second place. Half were caused by leaving candles unattended, and 5% came from someone playing with candles.
When Burning Candles, Always Remember to:
- Never leave a burning candle unattended.
- Position candles well away from flammable objects and materials like curtains, lampshades and plants, and well away from any possible contact by pets or children.
- Place candles on heat-resistant surfaces which will not transmit heat to the furniture on which they are placed. Candles should also be placed in heat resistant bowls that will catch dripping wax and be secured in an appropriate holder so it can’t be knocked over.
- 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.
- Keep candle wicks trimmed. This is essential for the candle to burn cleanly, safely and without smoking. Trim the wick to about 1/4″ every time you burn.
- Keep candles out of drafty locations.
- Keep wick trimmings and other debris out of the pool of melted wax.
- Never move a lighted candle.
- When blowing out a candle, hold your index finger in front of the flame and blow at it. Air will flow around your finger, extinguish the candle from both sides, and prevent hot wax from splattering.