Candle Fire Safety
Because the majority of candle fires result from human error and negligence, candle fires and their associated casualties are preventable.
- If possible, avoid using lighted candles.
- If you must use candles, ensure that they are placed in sturdy holders.
- Keep candles away from children and pets.
- Be sure to extinguish candles after each use.
- Never leave burning candles unattended.
By following a few candle fire safety tips, everyone can enjoy a safe and happy holiday season.
Causes and Circumstances of Home Candle Fires
- On average, 42 home candle fires are reported every day.
- More than half of all candle fires start when something that could burn, such as furniture, mattresses or bedding, curtains, or decorations is too close to the candle.
- In one-fifth (20%) of candle fires, the candles are unattended or abandoned.
- Over one-third (36%) of home candle fires begin in the bedroom.
- Falling asleep is a factor in 12% of home candle fires and 36% of the associated deaths.
- December is the peak time of year for home candle fires. In December, 13% of home candle fires begin with decorations compared to 4% the rest of the year.
- One-half of home candle fire deaths occur between Midnight and 6 am.
- Young children and older adults have the highest death risk from candle fires.
- The risk of fatal candle fires appears higher when candles are used for light.
Sources: NFIRS, NFPA
Candle Safety Tips
- Avoid using lighted candles.
- If you do use candles, ensure they are in sturdy metal, glass or ceramic holders and placed where they cannot be easily knocked down.
- Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.
- Set a good example by using matches, lighters, and fire carefully.
- Children should never be allowed to play with matches, lighters, or candles.
- Never put candles on a Christmas tree.
- Extinguish candles after use and before going to bed.
- And NEVER leave burning candles unattended!