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Candle safety: how to keep your home safe from fire

Vicki Crawford

Written by Vicki Crawford, marketing advisor

The holiday season is here, and many of us like to have candles around the room to offer a warm glow and festive cheer. While a candle flame may be small, you should treat it with care, as you would any other flame

Candle fires result in around 300 casualties yearly and are one of the most common causes of house fires. Our handy tips will help you enjoy your candles safely to avoid getting injured or causing a fire.

Always have a working smoke alarm
First things first, your home should have at least one smoke alarm on every floor. You should also be checking they work regularly.

Use a heat resistant surface and candle holder when burning candles
Candles should be held upright and in a heat resistant candle holder so they won’t fall over. Candle holders will often be glass or ceramic and look similar to an ashtray or drinking glass. You can purchase candle holders at your local supermarket.

Tea light candles can get hot enough to melt through a plastic surface, so using a slate or mirrored coaster would offer further protection for your home.

Think about where you place your candles in your home
You should burn candles in a well ventilated room but avoid draughts and vents. If you put a candle under a shelf, it can burn anything above it as there is a lot of heat above a burning candle. Make sure at least one metre is between the candle and any surface above it.

If you put a burning candle somewhere where you have to lean across it, brush past it, or forget it is there, put it elsewhere. People often forget that curtains, furniture, bedding, books, and magazines are also extremely flammable, so ensure you keep candles away from those objects.

Likewise, if you have pets or children, make sure candles are out of reach for them, as hair, and fur can catch fire instantly and never use a candle in a child’s bedroom.

Don’t move candles when they’re burning
It's easy to forget but let a candle cool down before you try to move it. Hot wax splashing around could cause you to be injured or even a fire.

Never leave a burning candle unattended
It is important to put burning candles out when you leave the room and double check they are completely out before you go to bed.

Use a candle extinguisher or a spoon to put out candles
Blowing a candle out can send sparks and hot wax flying, a candle extinguisher, also known as a "snuffer" or using a spoon, is a safer option. You can often buy candle extinguishers at your local candle shop.

Take care with ritual or scented candles
These kinds of candles turn to liquid to release their fragrance, so always burn them in a suitable glass or metal holder that can withstand the heat of the liquid.

Keep everyone in your home safe

Make sure that everyone in your home knows what to do if a fire should occur, practice your escape route, and call 999 in the event of a fire.

Is your smoke or carbon monoxide alarm missing or broken?

If you're a Home Group customer with a missing or broken smoke or carbon monoxide alarm please let us know. 

Our fire safety tips

Read more ways to keep you and your home safe from fire.

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