Candle with Care
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), from 2006-2010, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 11,640 home structure fires that were started by candles. These fires caused 126 deaths, 953 injuries and $438 million in direct property damage. Candles caused 3% of reported home fires, 5% of home fire deaths, 7% of home fire injuries, and 6% of the direct property damage from home fires in 2010.
Candle Safety Tips
Candles & Children
- NEVER leave a burning candle unattended. Extinguish all candles
when leaving the room or going to sleep.
- Keep candles away from items that can catch fire (i.e., clothing,
books, paper, curtains, Christmas trees, flammable decorations).
- Use candle holders that are sturdy, won't tip over easily, are
made from a material that can't burn and are large enough to collect
- Don't place lit candles in windows, where blinds and curtains
can close over them.
- Place candle holders on a sturdy, uncluttered surface and do
not use candles in places where they could be knocked over by
children or pets.
- Keep candles and all open flames away from flammable liquids.
- Keep candle wicks trimmed to ¼-inch above the wax or
- Extinguish taper and pillar candles when they get to within
two-inches of the holder or decorative material. Votives and containers
should be extinguished before the last ½-inch of wax starts
- Avoid candles with combustible items imbedded in them.
During Power Outages
- Keep candles up high out of reach of children.
- Never leave a child unattended in a room with a candle. A child
should not sleep in a room with a lit candle.
- Don't allow children or teens to have candles in their bedrooms.
- Store candles, matches and lighters up high and out of children's
sight and reach, preferably in a locked cabinet.
- Try to avoid carrying a lit candle. Don't use a lit candle when
searching for items in a confined space.
- Never use a candle for a light when checking pilot lights or
fueling equipment such as a kerosene heater or lantern; the flame
may ignite the fumes.
Over the past few years the safety of gel candles has come into
question and many gel candles and related products have been recalled. Learn more on our gel fuels page.