House fires caused by candles are a growing concern. Candles left unattended or too close to flammable items can trigger a fire that spread room to room and have the ability to destroy a whole house. Since candles are such a common piece of décor in homes, its important to know how to prevent these fires so you can keep using candles, but do so safely.
When you are going to burn a candle, make sure it is in a proper container. Glass jar candles are the best as the glass acts a barrier between the open flame and potentially flammable objects. Candles should never be burned while just sitting on a plate or dish, leaving the flame open and susceptible to spreading. Also make sure to keep even jarred candles at least one foot away from any piece of furniture, curtain or item that could catch fire.
Candles shouldn’t be used for light during a power outage. When the lights are out and its difficult to see, so candles are more easily placed near fire hazards. Instead, keep flashlights or lanterns in an accessible place, with back up batteries, incase the power goes out as safer options.
Also, only place candles on heat resistant surfaces. Plastic furniture can melt when a candle is placed and burning on it for hours on end. Worst-case scenario, the plastic itself can catch on fire and also spread the fire to nearby combustibles.
Finally, always extinguish a candle before leaving a room, leaving the house or going to sleep. Unattended candles are too big of a risk, especially if you have pets in the home that could knock it over or knock a curtain or cloth into the flame. Be careful when blowing out the candle that sparks and wax don’t go flying causing further damage.