Safety week puts the spotlight on candles

Sun 13 Oct, 2019

Candle Fire Safety Week runs from 14 to 20 October 2019

With the peak season for candles approaching, and candle fires resulting in around 300 casualties each year in England, Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service is asking people to take extra care.

More than 40 per cent of all fires started by candles result in a death or injury. In the last 10 years, there have been more than 100 deaths and 3,000 injuries caused by accidental fires in the home caused by candles.

Joanne Cook, head of Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service’s community safety team, said: “It’s important to remember that a candle is not just a decorative feature. Left unattended, an open flame scenting your home could leave a trail of devastation.

“Place your lit candles with extra care and in proper holders, away from curtains, clothes, 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 vital to be prepared should the worst happen. Working smoke alarms 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 alarms regularly and by practising your escape routes.” 

A national initiative called Candle Fire Safety Week starts tomorrow (Monday 14 October) and runs until 20 October. Click here for our candle safety poster, and follow Joanne's top tips to stay safe:

- Never leave lit candles unattended, and do not move lit candles. Put burning candles out when you leave the room.

- Make sure candles are extinguished long before bedtime so there is no danger of you nodding off with a candle still burning.

- 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 such as curtains, furniture, bedding and books.

- 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 and air currents and away from vents. This will help prevent rapid or uneven burning, soot and dripping.

- Keep the wax pool clear of wick trimmings, matches and debris.

- Put scented candles, which are designed to turn to liquid when heated to maximise fragrance, in a heat-resistant holder.

- Fit smoke alarms and test them every month. Make sure everyone in your home knows what to do if a fire should occur, and practise your escape route.