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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Avoid a Candle Fire With Safe Habits and Alternatives to Open Flames

8/31/2023 (Permalink)

Image of a candle Avoid a Candle Fire in your Layton, UT house by following these important tips.

The soft flicker of a flame is soothing and comfortable. For many homeowners, the gentle scents and appearance of candles provide a calming, peaceful atmosphere. Unfortunately, candle fire is also responsible for a lot of home damage:

Avoid Fire Damage by following these tips

At least 2% of home fires are caused by candles.

Just a few years ago, there was an average of 20 candle fires are reported each day, and today there are more than 10,000 each year. Fires due to candles peak during December and January.

These facts come from the National Fire Protection Association and their research division. Looking at these statistics, is it possible to safely use candles in your home?

Prevent a Candle Fire From Destroying Your Home

The good news is that today there are plenty of options for getting the same ambiance from candle fire without the risks associated with open flames. If you do plan to use the real thing, be sure to take the following precautions:

  • Clear the area around the candle. Plants, decorations, linens, and other flammable items all pose fire hazards.
  • Position candles where children, pets, and blowing curtains won't knock them over. Make sure candles are placed on a sturdy, level surface.
  • Never leave candles unattended; many fires occur when homeowners fall asleep and more than a third of home candle fires started in bedrooms.
  • Store candles, matches, and lighters where children can't reach them.

Habits for Proper Care of Candles

In addition to these foundational safety habits, there are several other things you can do to improve your well-being around candles. Trim candlewicks to about a quarter of an inch. If the wick is too short, the flame won't burn correctly. If the wick is too long, it will cause the flame to flare and flicker. Flares can lead to fires.

Take the heat of candles into account. Some candleholders (such as wine bottles) aren't sturdy or heat-resistant enough to withstand the burning heat. The rising temperature can cause glass holders to crack, spilling out wax and potentially causing a candle fire. It's also important that you place candles at least 3 to 4 inches apart and avoid handling candles before they cool.

Alternatives to Open Flames

Many fire safety authorities (as well as fire damage cleanup and restoration professionals) recommend using alternatives to candles. One of the most popular of these is the flameless candle. These are available in many sizes, shapes, and colors. Some are remote-operated, and many use an LED bulb that mimics the flicker of a candle flame. You can even find these candles with a warm vanilla scent. Some of the other options to consider include reed diffusers, wax warmers, humidifiers with essential oils, and strings of fairy lights.

The best way to avoid fire and smoke damage, as well as the cost of fire and smoke cleanup, is to take preventative steps and improve fire safety in your Layton, UT, home. This includes the installation of fire extinguishers and fire and smoke alarms. Develop the appropriate habits for enjoying an open flame and learn to properly maintain your candles. Best of all, consider an alternative. Don't let your peaceful evening end with destructive candle fire.

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