Candle Safety

A note about Fire Safety and Candles from the National Candle Association:

There’s a special beauty and tranquility to  candles, but a lighted candle is also an open flame, and a potential  fire hazard if not carefully monitored. In fact, accidental candle fires  account for approximately four percent of all U.S. residential fires.

A study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety  Commission suggests that 85 percent of candle fires could be avoided if  consumers followed three basic safety rules:

• Never leave a burning candle unattended.
• Never burn a candle on or near anything that might catch fire.
• Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.

The National Candle Association urges consumers to always follow the basic rules of fire safety when burning candles.


Always keep a burning candle within sight.  Extinguish all candles when leaving a room or before going to sleep. Be  sure the wick ember is no longer glowing.

Never burn a candle on or near anything that  can catch fire. Keep burning candles away from furniture, drapes,  bedding, carpets, books, paper, flammable decorations, etc.

Keep burning candles out of the reach of children and pets.

Trim candlewicks to 1/4 inch each time before burning. Long or crooked wicks can cause uneven burning and dripping.

Always use a candleholder specifically  designed for candle use. The holder should be heat resistant, sturdy,  and large enough to contain any drips or melted wax.

Be sure the candleholder is placed on a  stable, heat-resistant surface. This can help prevent heat damage to  underlying surfaces and prevent glass containers from breaking.

Keep the wax pool free of wick trimmings, matches and debris at all times.

Always read and follow the manufacturer's use  and safety instructions carefully. Don't burn a candle longer than the  manufacturer recommends.

Keep burning candles away from drafts, vents,  ceiling fans and air currents. This will help prevent rapid, uneven  burning, and avoid flame flare-ups and sooting. Drafts can also blow  nearby lightweight items into the flame where they could catch fire.

Always burn candles in a well-ventilated  room. Don't burn too many candles in a small room or in a "tight" home  where air exchange is limited.

Don't burn a candle all the way down.  Extinguish the flame if it comes too close to the holder or container.  For a margin of safety, discontinue burning a candle when 2 inches of  wax remains or 1/2 inch if in a container.

Never touch or move a burning candle or container candle when the wax is liquid.

Never use a knife or sharp object to remove  wax drippings from a glass holder. It might scratch, weaken, or cause  the glass to break upon subsequent use.

Place burning candles at least three inches  apart from one another. This helps ensure they don't melt one another,  or create their own drafts to cause improper burning.

Use a snuffer to extinguish a candle. It's the safest way to prevent hot wax splatters.

Never extinguish candles with water. The water can cause the hot wax to splatter and might cause a glass container to break.

Be very careful if using candles during a  power outage. Flashlights and other battery-powered lights are safer  sources of light during a power failure.

Extinguish a candle if it repeatedly smokes,  flickers, or the flame becomes too high. The candle isn't burning  properly. Cool, trim the wick, then check for drafts before relighting.

Never use a candle as a night light.