Scented candles are a wonder addition to any home. They can transform a space and transport you to a magical place with their myriad fragrances—qualities that have made them very popular in recent years. With this increased popularity, however, we've also seen an increase in accidents related to candle safety. Like any open flame, scented candles can present real danger if the right safety measures aren't taken. Below, we'll take a closer look at the potential danger candles can present and how you can easily avoid any candle-related accidents with a few precautions.
What’s The Danger?
Anything that has flames can wreak havoc to you or your home, and candles are no exception. Reports circulated early this year about a freak accident involving a candle engulfing a house in flames. A woman escaped the accident with minor injuries, but the after-fire repair cost, which was confirmed to have been caused by candles left burning in the living room, is estimated to be $80,000. A candle bought at $10 will now cost the homeowner ten thousands of dollars of repair. This could happen to anyone who does not follow safety procedures when dealing with candles.
A similar report by Consumer Product Safety Commission documents numerous accidents caused by candle-related fires that led to many casualties. In 1998 alone, 12,800 fire accidents caused by candles leading to 170 deaths and 1,200 injuries. It is common sense that a candle is an open flame and can act as a significant source of fire accidents if not handled with care.
Ultimately, Candles are meant to help your house feel like a home. To that end, it is strongly advised that you follow the basic tenets of candle safety. The majority of these safety tips are common sense and can even extend the life of your candles. For your safety, please observe the following tips:
Basic Candle Safety
- You must not leave a candle burning in a room without an adult: Pretty obvious, huh? But don't be swayed and disregard it. Recent research shows that, on average, 22 home candle fires are reported each day.
- You must not burn a candle near materials that are flammable: Fifty-eight percent of candle fire is as a result of being close to flammable materials. A breeze could blow these materials onto the candle flame, and before you know it, the entire panel could be on fire.
- Keep candles out of reach of your kids and pets: Kids and pets are always playful and do not have any idea of the dangers that lighting candles have. If not carefully observed, they can either burn themselves or push the candles to the floor or close to any combustible material.
Measures Before Lighting a Candle
- Ensure you trim a wick, maintaining it at 1/4 inch at all times: Untrimmed wick usually burns unevenly, drip or flare-up. Similarly, a longer wick has an enormous flame, which can ultimately cause a fire. Using a wick clipper to keep your candles' wicks even and a quarter inch is the best way to avoid these dangers.
- Keep the candle in a holder: This will prevent the wax from dripping away and destroying the surface it is mounted.
- Keep the room ventilated: A candle burning improperly often produces soot. Therefore, air circulation is needed to distribute heating and cooling throughout the house evenly.
- Place the candle on a stable, heat resistant surface: This helps the underlying surface from being damaged by the heat that comes from the burning candle.
Generally, ensure that you use a candle snuffer to put out your candles, as this is one of the safest ways to prevent the hot wax from splattering. Likewise, do not throw candles in the trash immediately after using them.