With winter fast approaching, a few candles scattered round the room can lend a warm glow to an evening in or add some festive cheer to seasonal celebrations such as Bonfire Night and Christmas.
As part of the nationwide Fire Kills campaign, Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) is asking people to take care this Candle Fire Safety Week (16 to 22 October) and snuff out the risk of fire in their homes.
Candle fires result in over 300 casualties each year and more than one in three of all reported accidental fires in the home, started by candles, result in a death or injury.
The most important step you can take to keep yourself and your loved ones safe is to ensure your home has working smoke alarms.
Take candle safety seriously
To prevent candle fires from starting in your home, make sure your candles are kept away from flammable materials like curtains and ensure candles are put out when you leave the room, even for a moment.
Lisa Bryan, of the NFRS home safety team, said: “Candles are a typical sight in many homes, scenting our rooms and giving an atmospheric glow to cold winter nights. But 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, on stable surfaces away from curtains, 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 alarm regularly and by practising your escape routes.”
Candle safety tips from Fire Kills:
- Never leave lit candles unattended. Put burning candles out when you leave the room, and make sure they’re out completely at night.
- 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 like curtains, furniture, bedding and books.
- Don’t move candles once they are lit.
- Do not burn several candles close together as this might cause the flame to flare up.
- Burn candles in a well-ventilated room, out of drafts, vents or air currents. This will help prevent rapid or uneven burning, soot, and dripping.
- Always put scented candles in a heat resistant holder. These candles are designed to liquefy when heated to maximise fragrance.
- Fit smoke alarms and test them now and monthly. A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999.
- Make sure that everyone in your home knows what to do if a fire should occur – practise your escape route.