This post was originally published on September 15, 2015 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Homeowners across the nation light candles for their enjoyable fragrances and ambiance.
But, despite their allure, candles can be dangerous. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), an average of 23 home candle fires are reported each day.
Next time you light a candle, follow these seven safety rules.
1. Keep Candles Away From Flammables
Three out of every five home candle fires originate from igniting some form of combustible material. Keep candles at least 12 inches away from flammables—this includes curtains, lampshades and cabinets.
2. Don’t Leave Lit Candles Unattended
A seemingly innocent flickering candle can quickly grow and become dangerous. Never leave candles unattended. Snuff all candles when you leave the room, go to bed or are away from home.
3. Properly Discard Matches
After you strike a match and blow it out, there could still be a residual flame lingering. A fire can ensue if thrown in the wastebasket. Instead, run each used match under water before discarding. This ensures the match is completely extinguished.
4. Avoid Candle Use During Power Outages
Home fires are a threat after a natural disaster and emergency services may have trouble responding to your home during a power outage. Keep your home stocked with battery-powered flashlights so you do not have to resort to candles.
5. Keep Out of Children’s Reach
Children are naturally curious and may not fully understand the dangers of the bright, dancing flame. When you light a candle, make sure it is out of reach of children.
In addition, keep matches and lighters out of children’s hands. If they see you strike a match, they may want to try it themselves.
6. Properly Handle Candles That Shouldn’t Be Snuffed
Some candles, such as votive, vigil, yahrzeit and Shabbat candles are meant to burn to the wick. Take extra precaution with candles that cannot be blown out or snuffed.
Before going to bed or leaving the room, place all candles that will burn for a prolonged period of time in the sink or on a metal tray. In addition, place candles inside a glass, such as a hurricane glass. This will prevent wind or movement from moving the flame or knocking over the candle.
7. Ensure Fire Detectors Are Working Properly
Best security vendors send trained personnel to your home to test and review the fire protection system. They will confirm all equipment is operational and optimally placed.
In between annual checkups, perform self-maintenance by regularly testing your devices to ensure proper functionality.
Most models have an intuitive system in place to check workability; however, please refer to your manual to confirm that tests are being carried out properly.
Protect Your Home With a Reliable Fire Alarm From the Professionals
Minimizing the risk and damages of a fire starts with protection devices and preparation. Contact a trusted security provider for proper installation and equipment support.