Candles may look festive and smell pretty but understand that unattended candles account for thousands of fires annually. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that, on average, 25 home candle fires are reported across the United States each day. Back in May, a candle caused a house fire in Bethesda.
In addition, the NFPA reports that from 2009-2013, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 9,300 home structure fires that were started by candles. These fires caused 86 deaths, 827 injuries and $374 million in direct property damage.
MCFRS asks that all residents consider battery-operated, flameless candles instead. Many look and smell like real candles - you really can’t tell the difference!
If you still wish to use open flame candles, MCFRS would like to remind all residents to check your smoke alarms regularly and please follow these safety tips while using candles in the home:
- Extinguish all candles when leaving the room or going to sleep.
- If power is out please use flashlights for emergency lighting. Never use candles.
- Keep candles away from items that can catch fire (e.g., clothing, books, paper, curtains, Christmas trees, flammable decorations, etc.).
- Use candle holders that are sturdy, won't tip over easily, are made from a material that can't burn and are large enough to collect dripping wax.
- Don't place lit candles in windows. Blinds and curtains can easily ignite.
- Place candle holders on a sturdy, uncluttered surface and do not use candles in places where they could be knocked over by children or pets.
- Keep candles and all open flames away from flammable liquids.
- Keep candle wicks trimmed to one-quarter inch and extinguish candles when they get to within two inches of the holder or decorative material. Votive and containers should be extinguished before the last half-inch of wax starts to melt.
- Avoid candles with decorative items embedded in them.
For more tips go here: Candle Safety