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Fire Risks and Candles

Candles may be pretty and give off appealing scents, but if you’re not careful, they could start a fire in your home. An average of 9,300 home structure fires are started by open-flame candles across the US every year, according to reports from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). These blazes account for 3 percent of all residential fires, and they result in about 86 fatalities, 827 injuries, and $374 million in property damage annually.

Learn more about the risks of open flames and how to prevent a candle fire from starting in your home or business.


Fire Risks of Candles

  • On average, a home candle fire is reported somewhere in the US every hour.
  • About one-third of home candle fires start in the bedroom.
  • One in 10 home candle fires starts because the candle burns attended or as building occupants sleep.
  • More than half of all home candle fires occur because a nearby combustible object catches fire.
  • Because of holiday decorations, December is the peak time of year for home candle fires.

Candle Safety Tips

Consider using battery-operated flameless candles. Flickering bulbs and lovely scents make them look and smell like real candles without the risks of an open flame. If you choose to burn candles, follow these tips to keep your property and family safe:

  • Store matches and lighters out of reach of children, preferably in a locked cupboard.
  • Light your candles safely. Keep hair and loose clothing away from the flame.
  • Dampen used matches with water before throwing them in the trash.
  • Never let a candle burn unattended. Blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed.
  • Never leave a child alone with a burning candle.
  • If a religious candle must burn continuously, confine it to a glass container and set it in the kitchen sink, in a deep basin filled with water, or on a metal tray.
  • Avoid burning a candle while you lounge in bed or anywhere you could accidentally fall asleep.
  • Keep all objects at least 12 inches away from a lit candle.
  • Place candles in sturdy holders that don’t tip over easily.
  • Avoid setting lit candles on narrow windowsills. Instead, set them on a sturdy, flat, uncluttered surface away from the edge where they could be knocked over.
  • Throw container candles away once they burn down to one inch of wax remaining.
  • Don’t light candles if someone in your home uses an oxygen tank because pure oxygen is highly flammable.
  • Use battery-powered flashlights or lanterns during power outages, not candles.

Follow General Fire Safety Tips

To keep your family safe in case there’s a fire, install smoke alarms on every floor of your home, especially right outside sleeping areas. Interconnected alarms are best so that when one alarm goes off, they all go off. Remember to test your smoke alarms monthly and replace the batteries once a year.

Also, create a fire escape plan with your family and hold occasional fire drills to practice different scenarios. You hope you never have to put an evacuation plan to the test, but you’ll enjoy the peace of mind that comes from being prepared.

Schedule Fire Protection Services in Houston, TX

Whether you want to make your home safer, or you own a business with strict fire code requirements, trust Kauffman Co. for all your fire protection needs. We install and service fire extinguishers, automatic sprinklers, fire suppression systems, and much more.

Contact us online or call (713) 893-1090 to schedule services today! We have over 35 years of experience serving homes and businesses in the Houston, TX area.

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