Candles may be pretty to look at, but they are a cause of home fires — and home fire deaths. Remember, a candle is an open flame, which means that it can easily ignite anything that can burn.

Candles are often ignited in homes to create the ambiance for parties and social occasions or even to enjoy a warm and cozy night at home during the cold, winter months. Although candles are fashionable and can even reduce stress, they are also quite dangerous.

The increased popularity of candles has sparked a trend of fires and fire deaths. Those who use candles are urged to practice candle safety year-round. Follow these safety tips:

  • Extinguish all candles when leaving the room or going to sleep.
  • Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn.
  • Ensure candles are in sturdy, noncombustible holders that will not tip over and are big enough to collect dripping wax.
  • Light candles carefully. Keep your 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 a candle if oxygen is used in the home.
  • Do not place lit candles in windows where blinds or curtains can inadvertently close over them, and do not use them in places where children or pets could knock them over.
  • Never leave a child unattended in a room with a lit candle and do not leave candles lit in a room in which a child is sleeping. Keep all matches and lighters up high, out of sight and reach of children, preferably in a locked cabinet.
  • Have flashlights and battery-powered lighting ready to use during a power outage. Never use candles.

Did you know?

  • December is the peak month for home candle fires.
  • More than one-third of home candle fires started in the bedroom.
  • Three of every five candle fires start when things that can burn are too close to the candle.

Think about using flameless candles in your home. There are many LED flameless candles one can buy that look like real candles, but are less mess and safer.