Tim McElhinny, CIC, LUTCF
Partner, McElhinny Insurance Agency LLC
Tricks of the Wicks
House-warming candles, left unmanaged, can lead to dangerous fires
Candles are a great way to make a house feel like home, but if left unattended, they can have devastating effects.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, candles cause an estimated 15,600 fires in homes each year. Over half of those fires start because the candle is too close to combustible material and one in 10 are related to the homeowner falling asleep while the candle is lit.
Thankfully, most candle-related fires can be prevented. Here’s what to know (courtesy of the U.S. Fire Administration):
- Avoid using lighted candles.
- If you do use candles, ensure they are in sturdy metal, glass, or ceramic holders and placed where they cannot be easily knocked down.
- Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.
- Set a good example by using matches, lighters and fire carefully.
- Children should never be allowed to play with matches, lighters or candles.
- Never put candles on a Christmas tree.
- Never leave the house with candles burning.
- Extinguish candles after use.
- Establish a fire-safe home, especially a safe sleeping environment.
- Never leave burning candles unattended
For more safety tips on using candles, see the National Candle Association Web site.
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