It’s that time of year when people use candles more than any other time of the year, mostly for decorations or religious activities. Candle fires are one of the leading causes of fires in Las Vegas. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), on average, a candle fire in the home is reported to a U.S. fire department every 40 minutes. More than one-third of home candle fires started in the bedroom. More than half of all candle fires start when things that can burn get too close to the candle.
This weekend, Hanukah begins and the use of candles will increase, as will the use of candles for Christmas in three weeks. Candles are also popular at various parties and other holiday activities.
Because of the increased use, here are some important safety tips that people should follow:
- Use candle holders that are sturdy and will not tip over easily. Paper cups and plates should not be used as candle holders.
- Put candle holders on a sturdy, flat, uncluttered surface with nothing that can burn underneath it.
- Lighting of candles should be done by adults. Keep hair and any loose clothing away from the flame.
- Do not burn a candle all the way down – put it out before it gets too close to the holder or container.
- Never use candles if medical oxygen is being used in the home.
- Use flashlights during power outages instead of candles.
- Blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed.
- Avoid using candles in the bedroom and other areas where people sleep.
- Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn.
- Never leave a child alone in a room with a burning candle.
- Keep matches and lighters locked in a place where children cannot get to them.
- Make sure your smoke alarm is working properly and test it at least once each month.
The most important thing to remember is a candle is an open flame, the same as a match. Anything it comes into contact with will catch fire. Keep all combustible items and people away from candles.
Electronic candles are a great alternative to real candles. They do not have a flame and cannot start a fire. They are inexpensive and look like the real thing. Consider using this safe alternative.