Candles are great for a lot of reasons, but all these benefits come with the very heavy cost of their potential to start deadly house fires. Fire damage experts generally recommend not using candles with an open flame for this reason. However, if you do decide to use candles, there are a few simple things you can do to reduce the risks they pose.
Here are five tips on candle safety from our restoration team at Restore Rite.
How and where you store candles before you ever use them is an important element of candle safety. For one, keep them out of reach of children. A child may see a candle and be inspired to try and light it. Additionally, haphazardly storing candles can cause them to come into contact with flammable chemicals which could spell disaster when you light the candle for the first time.
Most people gloss over the warning stickers on candles. While the information they contain is usually general and well-known, some candles do have specific instructions that you would be wise to read. The warnings that most candles have and everyone should already know are to 1) burn within sight, 2) keep away from flammable materials, and 3) keep away from children and pets.
Some more specific warnings candles may have include 1) if you need to trim the wick before burning, 2) the maximum amount of time the candle should be left to burn, and 3) the types of surfaces that are safe for placing the candle on. These warnings are less obvious, but reading and following them is an important component of safely handling candles.
Never leave lit candles unattended. Even when you think you will be right back, accidents happen. It’s best to always extinguish any candle before leaving the room and keep them out of the reach of children and pets. For additional safety, candles could also be placed in holders so they don’t fall over. Even if they do fall over, a good holder should still keep the candle in place so it cannot start a fire.
As obvious as this is, hundreds of fires are started every year due to inadvertently placing something flammable next to a burning candle. One way to reduce the risk of this is to put the candle somewhere where it is unlikely that you would place something without thinking.
Trimming the wick is essential for candle safety, but many people neglect doing so. When lighting a new candle, you should time off everything but the top quarter inch of the wick. The reason for doing this is that it prevents the flame from going too far down the wick and shortens the lifespan of the candle. Additionally, it helps keep the candle from catching fire due to overextension.
While these candle safety tips will help keep your home safe, fire damage never comes when you expect it. Give us a call at Restore Rite today if your home is affected by fire damage.