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If you’re like me, nothing sets the holiday mood more quickly- or more easily -than burning a new scented candle. In fact, as I’m writing this, the sweet smell of sugar cookies and a gently flickering flame are getting me in the Christmas spirit! As temperatures drop and the sun sets earlier and earlier, those of us who love to light a candle are probably getting more serious about it- but what’s the risk involved?

Candle-related fires

It might seem obvious to some that candles are a potential hazard. When you think about it, it’s… well, a tiny self-contained fire, after all! To others, though, candles are so commonplace that they really don’t seem like much of a risk. But in the words of the National Fire Protection Association:

“A lighted candle is also an open flame, and a potential fire hazard if not carefully monitored.”

  • On average, 21 home candle fires are reported each day in the US
  • Roughly one-third of these candle fires started in the bedroom, and these fires caused 40% of the associated deaths observed and 49% of the associated injuries
  • Falling asleep while burning a candle was the cause of 10% of the home candle fires
  • December is the peak time of year for home candle fires, and the peak day of the year is Christmas


Candle safety

All of these statistics can seem worrying, but don’t let that keep you from enjoying your favorite scents! While candles are a potential hazard, there are many steps you can take to ensure your safety and the safety of your home while using them. In fact, a study by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission suggests that 85% of candle fires can be avoided by following just three simple steps:

  1. Never leave a candle burning unattended
  2. Keep candles out of reach of children and pets in your home
  3. Never burn a candle on top of something that could catch fire

In addition to these, here are some extra steps you can take to ensure your safety:

  • Before lighting a candle, always trim the wick down to a quarter of an inch
  • Never burn a candle “all the way down.” When a half an inch of wax remains in the container, or two inches on a pillar candle, throw it away and burn a new one instead.
  • Extinguish a candle if the flame becomes too high or is flickering repeatedly, trim the wick, and try lighting it again.
  • Never use a candle as a nightlight or in any other situation where you may fall asleep.
  • If you are using candles for religious traditions or ceremonies, consider offering battery-operated candles to any children involved, and never leave candles on an altar or other areas unattended by an adult.

If you have experienced fire or smoke damage of any kind in your home, the Flood Medix are here to help. We are experts in repair, restoration, and mitigation of damage whether it is big or small, and we want to keep your family safe and well every time of year. Give us a call at 770-361-6180 and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have and get you on the way to having a relaxing holiday season!