Candle fire safety week: snuff out the fire risk

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Fire and Rescue Services across the country are asking people to take care this Candle Fire Safety Week and snuff out the risk of fire in their…

Fire and Rescue Services across the country are asking people to take care this Candle Fire Safety Week and snuff out the risk of fire in their homes.

With the days growing darker and winter setting in, a few candles scattered round the room can lend a warm glow to an evening in or add some festive cheer to the season’s celebrations such as Guy Fawkes’ night, Eid and Christmas.

But with over fifty fires started by candles every day, the Fire Kills Campaign is asking people to take extra care with candles this winter.

In 2010, Reckitt Benckiser, manufacturers of Air Wick candles, reported that 70 per cent of annual candle sales were made between September and February. So it’s no coincidence that between October and February every year candle-related house fires rise sharply, peaking at more than double the summer average in December.

The most important steps you can take to keep yourself and your loved ones safe include making sure your candles are kept away from flammable materials like curtains and putting out candles when nobody is in the room.

The Government’s Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser Sir Ken Knight said:

Candles are increasingly used in many homes. But it’s important to remember that a candle is not just another decoration. Left unattended, the naked flame could result in a devastating fire.

Over fifty fires are started by candles every day - make sure you don’t become a statistic. Place your lit candles carefully, away from curtains, pets and children and always remember to put them out when you leave the room, even for a moment.

Even with these precautions it’s crucial to be prepared should the worst happen. A working smoke alarm can give you the vital time you need to get out, stay out and call 999. Keep yourself and your loved ones safe by testing your alarm regularly and practising your escape routes.

To help you enjoy your candles safely this Candle Fire Safety Week, Fire Kills is offering some top tips:

  • Never leave burning candles unattended. Put burning candles out when you leave the room, and make sure they’re out completely at night.
  • Place your candles carefully. Make sure they are on a stable surface, out of the reach of pets and children, and keep them away from flammable objects like curtains, furniture, bedding and books.
  • Don’t move candles once they are lit.
  • Do not burn several candles close together as this might cause the flame to flare.
  • Burn candles in a well-ventilated room, out of draughts, vents or air currents. This will help prevent rapid or uneven burning, soot, and dripping.
  • Always put scented candles in a heat resistant holder. These candles are designed to liquefy when heated to maximise fragrance.
  • Fit a smoke alarm and test it regularly. A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999.
  • Make sure that everyone in your home knows what to do if a fire should occur - practise your escape route.

For more information visit the Fire Kills campaign’s Facebook page:


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