Combine cozy and safety with these tips
Cool breezes and longer nights mean it’s time to get cozy at home. For many, that means enjoying the glow and aroma of candles. But before you light up, remember that candles are open flames and should always be treated with extreme care.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), from 2014 through 2018:
- Roughly one-third (37%) of home candle fires started in bedrooms. These fires caused 40% of the associated deaths and 49% of the associated injuries.
- Falling asleep was a factor in 10% percent of the home candle fires and 15% of the associated deaths.
- Three of every five (60%) home candle fires occurred when some form of combustible material was left or came too close to the candle.
So candle with care with these NFPA safety tips:
- Blow them out—Extinguish all candles when you leave the room or go to bed; avoid the use of candles in the bedroom and other areas where people may fall asleep.
- Light carefully—Keep your hair and any loose clothing away from the flame.
- Keep safe space—Candles should be at least 1 foot away from anything that can burn.
- Use sturdy surfaces—Use candle holders that are sturdy and won’t tip over easily, and put candle holders on a secure, uncluttered surface.
- Watch kids—Never leave a child alone in a room with a burning candle; keep matches and lighters up high and out of children’s reach, in a locked cabinet.
- Don’t burn all the way down—Put candles out before they get too close to the holder or container.
- No oxygen allowed—Never use a candle if contained oxygen is used in the home.
- Use flashlights in emergencies—Have flashlights and battery-powered lighting ready to use during a power outage; avoid using candles during emergencies.
- Consider alternatives—Today’s flameless candles look and even smell like the real thing.
And as always, make sure your home’s smoke detectors are in good working order and in all the right places. If you need help checking or installing fire alarms or other safety features around your home, licensed professionals from the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Contractors State License Board (CSLB) can help: There even is a specialized license for fire protection contractors. For more information about CSLB licensees and their many services and specialties, visit www.cslb.ca.gov; to check a professional’s license, visit https://search.dca.ca.gov.