Cheshire firefighters are urging people to take care this Candle Fire Safety Week and snuff out the risk of fire in their home.
Candle safety week runs from 15 October to 21 October and is the ideal opportunity to highlight the importance of taking care with lit candles.
With the days growing darker and winter setting in, a few candles scattered round the room can lend a warm glow to an evening. But with candle fires resulting in around 350 casualties each year, we would like you to take extra care with candles this winter – nearly 40% of all fires 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 a working smoke alarm.
A working smoke alarm 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.
Tips on how to use candles safely
To help you enjoy your candles safely, here are some tips for this Candle Fire Safety Week:
• 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
• 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.
• Put candles out with a snuffer or a spoon – sparks can fly if you blow them out.
• Always put scented candles in a heat resistant holder. These candles are designed to liquify when heated to maximise fragrance.
• Fit a smoke alarm and test it regularly. 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.
In relation to candles in jars, there have been occasions when glasses and jars have shattered without warning when the level of the wax in the jar falls to the base of the jar.
This is due to less heat energy being absorbed by the remaining wax resulting in the glass heating up excessively to the point when it may crack or shatter with force.
Users are advised to continually supervise all candles and extinguish the candle when the level of wax reduces close to the base of a jar, say to 1 or 1.5cm.
Even once the candle is out, never pick up a hot jar that has contained a burning candle until it has cooled sufficiently to be able to do so.