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Candle Safety

A lit candle can easily ignite any nearby combustible material. Unfortunately, during summer storms, power outages may lead to the use of candles as a light source and increase the possibility of an unintentional burn injury or fire.

During power outages:

  • Flashlights and other lights generated by batteries provide better illumination and are much safer light sources than candles.
  • Try to avoid carrying a lit candle.
  • Do not use a candle to go into a closet to look for things.
  • Never use a candle for light when fueling equipment such as a kerosene heater or lantern. The flame may ignite the vapors.
  • Extinguish all candles when leaving the home or when going to sleep.

The National Fire Protection Association and National Candle Association offer the following tips for safe use of candles:

  • Use candles only with constant adult supervision.
  • Keep candles well away from items that can catch fire, such as flammable materials or liquids, clothing, books, paper, curtains, etc.
  • Avoid putting candles in air drafts to prevent rapid, uneven burning and excessive dripping. Drafts can blow lightweight curtains or papers into the flame, where they could catch fire.
  • Place candles on a heat-resistant surface in sturdy holders that will not tip over. Make sure candleholders are non-combustible and are big enough to collect dripping wax.
  • Do not place lit candles in windows, where they might come into contact with blinds or curtains.
  • Keep wicks trimmed to ¼ inch. Discontinue the use of a container or votive candle when ½ inch of unmelted wax remains. This will prevent possible heat damage to the counter/surface and prevent glass containers from cracking or breaking. Extinguish taper and pillar candles when they burn within 2 inches of their holders or decorations.
  • Candles should be placed at least three inches apart so they don't melt one another.
  • The best way to extinguish a candle is to use a special candlesnuffer or candle quencher. Do not use your fingers.
  • Keep candles in places where they cannot be knocked over by children or pets.

When young children are present:

  • Keep candles out of the reach of children.
  • Never leave a child unattended in a room with a lit candle. A child should never sleep in a room with a lit candle.
Keep all matches and lighters up high and out of sight and reach of children, preferably in a locked cabinet.

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