Holiday Safety Tips for Using Candles

Posted by Omega Security on December 19, 2013

Increased use of candles during the holiday season is wonderful for creating an enjoyable atmosphere, but this practice also increases the danger of an uncontrolled fire in the home. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and Underwriters Laboratory (UL) offer statistics that suggest more candle fires and related deaths occur during the winter months of December, January and February than any other time of the year.

miami securityCommon Reasons for Candle Fires

A candle fire may erupt due to any number of unfortunate accidents, but some of the most common reasons a candle fire might start is because of a dry Christmas tree that sits next to the flame of an innocent candle. A hydrated tree is a safe tree, and there is an incredible difference between a tree that’s kept watered and a tree that’s left thirsty all season long. Holiday revelers who want the classic look of a tree with candles on it should consider fake candles on a string of lights that mimic the look of real candles.

Another common reason for candle fires is the improper placement of candles on surfaces where they are likely to tip over. Not only should the surface upon which the candle is placed be sturdy, but the candle should also be placed in a container or on a stand that is designed to remain upright even if someone accidentally bumps into the table. It’s also essential that candles aren’t placed near flammable objects like papery decorations that hang from the ceiling or furniture.

Use Common Sense and Improve Security Systems

It might seem like common sense to ensure that a candle doesn’t burn next to a dry tree, yet candle fires occur every year because of the lack of smart candle placement employed by festive homeowners. Although it might seem as though a candle fire is a remote possibility, all homeowners should make sure that their security system is updated and that residents will be notified if a fire starts.

A home security service can install smoke detectors all over the home in just a few hours. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) suggests that homeowners shouldn’t take smoke detectors and security for granted. During a study that lasted from 2006 to 2010, the NFPA counted 32 candle fires that occurred somewhere in the United States every single day.

Extinguish Candles Safely

Candles should never be left to burn overnight, even if the family has a security system that includes smoke detectors. Even the smallest of candles can create a fire danger, and it’s essential that all candles are doused when the family retires for the evening or when everyone leaves the room. The National Candle Association provides some simple guidelines for extinguishing candles correctly:

  • Employ a candle snuffer to prevent the spread of wax
  • After extinguishing, watch the wick to make sure it’s not glowing
  • Leave the candle alone until the wax has solidified and it’s no longer warm

Candle safety is best accomplished with just a little planning and awareness of common reasons for candle fires and smart placement of holiday decor during the festive season. Make sure the family’s home security service comes by before the season begins to update the smoke detectors and have a talk with the family about using candles correctly so as to keep everyone safe.