How to Keep Your Home Safe
This Holiday Season
It’s safe to say that candles are everywhere this holiday season. In fact, December is the peak time of year for home candle fires. In December, 12% of home candle fires began with decorations compared to 4% the rest of the year. If you're planning on lighting a candle or two this holiday season, here are the 10 tips and tricks about candle safety.
1. Never Walk Away from an Open Flame.
You should NEVER light a candle for use as a night light or in a situation where you may fall asleep and leave the candle unattended. If you are looking for light alternatives, such as for use in a power outage, use battery-operated candles or a flashlight. Research done by the National Fire Protection Association shows that 11% of home candle fires happen when no one is keeping an eye on things.
2. Keep Candles Away from Small Children and Pets
Keeping candles away from pets and children will ensure they will not get accidentally knocked over while burning.
3. Use Smart Surfaces.
Make sure your candles are burning on heat resistant surfaces and are sturdy to prevent accidental fire hazards or spills.
4. Keep Candles Away From Flammable Objects.
You should never leave a candle unattended, especially near anything that can catch fire. Keep your candles away from furniture, decorations, curtains, paper or any other flammable household items. Three of every five (60%) of home candle fires occurred when some form of combustible material was left or came too close to the candle.
5. Trim the Wick to 1/4 inch at All Times
Before burning, always trim the wick to ¼ inch. You can use a wick trimmer, nail clippers, or scissors. Long or crooked wicks can cause uneven burning, dripping or flaring. Trimming your wicks extends burn time and prevents black smoke from burning with the flame. Keep the wax pool clear of wick trimmings, matches and debris at all times.
6. Read Candle Burn Time.
Follow the manufacturer’s sticker recommendations on burn time and proper use. According to the National Candle Association, it is recommended that candles do not burn for longer than four hours and cool for at least two hours before relighting. The candle came without a label? Don’t take this lightly. Always purchase candles with proper labels and warnings to protect against fire hazards.
7. Don’t Burn A Candle All The Way Down.
Stop burning a candle when 1/2 inch remains in the container. Extra wax driving you crazy? Consider ways to repurpose the jar or using the extra wax in a warmer using proper and certified guides.
8. Use Proper Tools to Extinguish a Candle.
A candle snuffer prevents hot wax from splattering. You should NEVER use water to extinguish a candle, as this can cause the hot wax to splatter and might break a glass container. Make sure the candle is completely out and the wick ember is no longer glowing before leaving the room. Before handling or moving, make sure the candle is completely cool.
9. Use A Proper Candleholder.
Candleholders need to be heat-resistant, sturdy and large enough to catch drips and melted wax.
10. Extinguish a Candle with a High or Flickering Flame.
Extinguish the flame, let the candle cool, trim the wick and inspect your home for any drafts before relighting. This is an easy step to prevent an accidental fire.