Candles provide a fantastic ambiance and visual interest to any room or event. If you love them, it is easy to forget that they can be dangerous if you don’t use them safely. Shockingly, candles are one of the leading causes of home fires and can be flammable, mainly if they are made of paraffin or beeswax. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, candle-related home fires in the United States are rising dramatically. In 2010, these home fires caused an estimated $190 million in property damage and killed three people. To ensure that you enjoy your candles safely, follow this fantastic guide.
16 Things to Know About Using Candles Safely
However, candles are one of the most common fire hazards in homes today, and if misused, they can result in devastating fires that could destroy your home and even put lives at risk. Here are the safest ways to use candles in your home to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.
1. Use candle holders
It is essential to use a candle holder at least 3 inches in diameter and no taller than 2 inches. The bottom of the candle holder should be at least two inches away from any combustible materials, like pillows, curtains, or furniture. It will safe you from getting damaged. Avoid using artificial flowers or other decorations in the area where you’ll be using candles; they can create a fire hazard. Buy some elegant candle holders from here.
2. Choose safe, non-toxic candles
Scented candles should always contain natural, non-toxic substances like soy or beeswax. If you use a lot of scented candles, it may also be worth investing in an air purifier for your home. It’s also important to remember that when burning a candle, never leave the room and never blow out the flame yourself. It will safe you from a huge loss. Let the fire burn until it has gone out on its own. Keep long sleeves down and long hair tied back when handling a lit candle.
3. Test the fragrance before lighting
To safe yourself from candle’s side effects, it’s recommended that you test the fragrance of a candle before lighting it. Even if you like the scent, powerful or too sweet perfumes may irritate your throat and make you cough. To test a candle’s fragrance, light a match and put it near the wick while it is unlit. This way, you can get an idea of how intense the scent will be once it is lit. The flame should not touch the wick because it could ignite the wax and cause damage to furniture or curtains.
4. Keep candles away from children and pets to safe them
Keep candles out of reach of children and pets to safe them. Children should never be left alone with a lit candle, even if an adult supervises them. It is not safe for them to play with or use any object that could come into contact with the flame. Pets should also be kept from lit candles as they can become curious about the beloved and knock it over.
Children can be fascinated by candles and may want to play with them or try to blow them out. They must be taught from a young age that these objects are not toys and should never be played with.
Even if you’re using a candle holder with an open bottom, never leave it unattended or near curtains, flammable objects, or children. This will safe an open flame from accidentally catching anything on fire. Always keep candles at least one foot away from anything that could catch fire, and ensure they are out before leaving the room. If you want to use a lit candle for more than 15 minutes, put it in a sturdy glass container like a coffee mug or wine glass.
6. Always keep a fire extinguisher nearby
If you’re using candles, keeping a fire extinguisher nearby is essential to safe from an emergency. Don’t let them burn unattended; ensure you’re using them in an appropriate space with nothing flammable nearby. And if you’ve left your candles burning and are going out for a few hours or so, be sure to blow the candles out first! They should also be kept away from curtains, furniture, and anything else that could catch fire.
When blowing out candles, always use a dry cloth rather than water- this will help prevent accidental fires. Also, avoid lighting more than one candle near each other. Make sure there is plenty of room between any lit candles, as they may accidentally touch while burning and start a fire.
7. Trim the wick before each use
To keep your home safe from the flames of candles, then never leave a lit candle unattended. Trim your wick before you light it so that it is not longer than ¼ inch (or, if you want, trim it in the middle). If your wick looks shorter than ¼ inch and the wax starts dripping, cut the wick down with a pair of scissors or cotton tweezers. Place candles on heat-resistant surfaces at least 4 inches away from anything that can catch fire. Light the candle and allow it to burn for about 3 minutes.
Blow out the flame when finished using it to safe a potential fire hazard. Before lighting, make sure there are no flammable materials nearby. Do not burn a candle for more than 4 hours at a time as this will cause an excessive buildup of smoke, which may be not safe for humans.
8. Buy candles from a reputable store
Select a candle from a reputable store with no reports of previous dangerous incidents. Ensure the candle has instructions on how to use and dispose of it properly. Follow the instructions to keep your fingers away from any open flame to safe yourself. For something goes wrong while using the candle, stop using it immediately.
9. Always use candles on a heat-resistant surface
Never use a candle on a surface that can catch fire, such as paper or cardboard. Place the candle away from curtains, bedding, and anything else that could catch fire easily. And remember to keep a watchful eye on the wick and ensure it stays centered to stay safe, so there is no chance of burning your tablecloth or other materials. Be sure to allow time for wax melted by the flame to cool before relighting the candle.
10. Never leave them unattended
It’s easy to take for granted that candles are safe, but just because they don’t seem like a hazardous item doesn’t mean you should use them without caution. Suppose a candle is left unattended while lit. It can lead to disastrous results. Ensure you don’t use candles when the room or house is unoccupied and the flame has gone out before leaving your home.
Additionally, never leave burning candles near anything flammable. Lastly, if you use an open container of liquid wax, ensure it is at least three inches from any combustible material and away from drafts so that the heat will not reach any other object or person nearby.
11. Blow out candles when you leave the room
If you leave the room for an extended period, use a long-reach candle snuffer, or blow out the candles when you leave. It will keep you safe from the devastating effects of burning candles. If you’re having a party, encourage guests to do the same to safe your party from an unexpected situation. Also, ensure that if any candles are burning on a surface near furniture or other combustible materials, they have proper clearance from anything that could catch fire.
12. Have smoke detectors installed
It is recommended that you have smoke detectors installed so that in the event of a fire, they will alert you and give you time to react. Smoke detectors are inexpensive and can be installed by professionals. If you need help with installation, contact your local fire department.
13. Keep them off the table
One of the first safety guidelines to keep in mind is that it’s best to hold candles and other open flames, or anything that might cause a fire, off the table. You also want to ensure they’re never near curtains, bedding, or other flammable materials like upholstery. And if you have an emergency – say your hair catches on fire from loose strands coming into contact with the flame – don’t panic! Just use something to smother the fire, then pat out any remaining flames before calling for help. Remember not to rub your head because this will spread the burning oils faster across your scalp.
14. Candles in glass containers are safer than plastic
It is best to place candles in a glass container that does not allow the flame or liquid wax from the candle to touch the outside. Candle holders with sharp edges can also pose a risk, so it’s best to use containers with rounded edges. Advantages: If you want to stay safe at home, then never leave a burning candle unattended and always put it out before going to sleep to stay safe. If you are on vacation, be sure to designate someone responsible for ensuring the candles are properly extinguished. And not left unattended when lit.
15. Long-lasting candles that burn evenly are better
Always try and purchase long-lasting candles that burn evenly. The best way to tell if a candle burns evenly is by observing the flame in a dark room for about 20 seconds. If you can see the same amount of soot on each side of the wick, it means the candle is burning smoothly. This is safe for you and your home. If there’s more soot on one side than the other, this indicates that the wick isn’t catching fire evenly or there’s insufficient oxygen. To fix this problem, trim off the top half inch of the wick at an angle and light it again.
16. Do not light a candle in a draft
When candles are lit, they often bring cool air down near the flame and create a draft that can endanger the candle’s burning integrity. Don’t light your candle in a draft if you want it to last as long as possible. Keep the wax pool free of debris: The wax pool on top of the wick needs to be clear of any debris that could potentially fall into it. Otherwise, this can cause the candle not to burn evenly or possibly extinguish itself.
While candles are an attractive and unique decoration, they also pose serious risks if you’re not careful with them. If you have children or pets in your house, using candles around them can be dangerous, so it’s vital to ensure that you know how to use them wisely to stay safe. Use caution with any lit candles or space heaters near combustible materials like clothing or other items that could catch fire. Keep candles away from pets or small children who might knock them over. Do not leave candles unattended or use them when you’re sleeping. Never burn a candle down to less than one inch. Always extinguish your candle by blowing it out to stay safe.
Frequently asked questions
Following are some commonly asked questions about candle safety.
Can I burn candles in a room with the windows open?
Many people do not realize that candles produce smoke, a byproduct of combustion. Unfortunately, it is not safe for anybody. One way to reduce the amount of smoke you inhale is to open your windows while burning your candle. Make sure it is a relatively still day, or else the breezes might blow out your flame and waste those good-smelling candles!
What should I do if my home catches on fire?
If your home catches on fire, please remember to evacuate your family and pets before anything else. If you cannot safely leave the building, call 911 immediately and then tell them that there are candles in the building. They will be able to tell you how best to get out with your safety in mind.
Do all scented candles have an automatic night light?
No, some candle companies incorporate an automatic night light into the wick. It is essential to check if a candle has an automatic night light before purchasing. It is because there are mixed reviews on its ability to keep the flame lit. If you can choose between two candles with comparable scents and prices, opt for one that offers a night light.
Some candles with automatic lights will illuminate when they burn within a certain height above the base of the candle.
Do I need to trim my wick?
Over time, a candle’s wick can accumulate debris, such as dust and wax. When this happens, you’ll need to trim it before you light the candle. To do so, use scissors and clip the wick length to ¼ inch above the melting pool. This will help safe your candles from sooty flames and promote better burning.
What is wax bloom, and what should I do about it?
Wax bloom is when there is a water droplet that forms on the surface of your candle. Wax bloom typically happens if you put too much water in the glass or aluminum container. It can also occur if you don’t burn your candle long enough to melt the wax to remove air bubbles. If wax bloom happens, then be sure to trim it off with a sharp, dry knife and continue burning as usual. You may need to cut off more than one layer of wax at a time.