Candles are festive and can brighten up any room, but they are also the leading cause of house fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
That’s not to say you can’t enjoy a candle or two in your home. Just be careful about where and when you burn them.
Winter is Most Dangerous for Candle Fires
From 2007-2011, there was an average of 10,630 fires in the U.S. that were started by candles, causing 115 deaths, 903 injuries, and approximately $418 million in property damage, according to the NFPA. December and January are the top months for candle fires.
So how can you avoid becoming part of these scary statistics? Keep these pointers in mind.
1. Don’t Burn Candles Near Flammable Items
The NFPA says more than half of candle fires are caused by candles burned too closely to items that are flammable. Keep your candle flames a foot or more away from anything that could start on fire. So don’t light candles near, drapes, table cloths, towels or anything else that is flammable.
2. Don’t Burn Candles and Leave Them
A candle left alone is a dangerous candle.
Don’t leave your house or apartment with a candle burning — even if you think it is in a safe place. You never know what can happen if a candle is knocked over or burns all the way down.
Don’t leave them in unoccupied rooms, either, or leave them burning while you sleep. About one-third of the fires cited by NFPA started in bedrooms.
3. Place Candles in Secure Holders
Many candles come in fancy glass cases. But others, such as candles used for special holiday centerpieces, must be placed in a holder.
The holidays are already a more dangerous time of year when it comes to the potential for house fires. Be sure that festive candles are secured properly before lighting them.
It only takes a moment for a candle to spark a fire. Loose candle holders can cause house fires in the time it takes to turn your back to the kitchen to cook dinner.
Use Caution to Avoid House Fires
We don’t enjoy visiting houses to perform fire restoration services, and we always encourage people to take steps to ensure that they don’t become a statistic. Be careful with your candles.
If your house or apartment is ever damaged by fire, however, INTEK can provide the needed fire restoration services. Click below to read more about what we do when fire restoration is necessary.