The romantic glow of a candlelit room can generate more heat than light – unless the candles start an actual fire. Even if you’re careful with your candles, there’s still a chance that sparks will fly. These candle safety tips will help you heat up your relationship without burning down your house.
Most Home Candle Fires Start in the Bedroom
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the bedroom is a dangerous place to burn candles: 36% of candle fires start there, even though only 13% of candle users say they regularly use candles in their bedrooms. There’s a lot of flammable stuff in bedrooms, including window coverings, bedding, and assorted knick-knacks.
After all, the bedroom isn’t a place where people tend to give full attention to their surroundings. There’s other stuff to do – including sleeping.
Fires occur most often when people fall asleep and leave a candle burning. In 2012, a Whitney Houston fan in Manchester, England lit a memorial candle in the star’s memory before going to bed. The candle ignited the curtains in her living room. Fortunately, the smoke alarm woke her, and she saved herself and her three dogs. This happened on Valentine’s Day.
Candle fires cost $374 million each year in property damage and injure or kill more than 800 people each year. Don’t be the person who celebrates Valentine’s Day in the emergency room.
Candle Safety Tips: When in Doubt, Snuff it Out
Candle safety tips from the National Candle Association include:
- Never burn candles in unoccupied rooms. It doesn’t take long for a fire to start and get out of control.
- Keep flammable solvents away from candles. That sounds really technical, so let’s put it this way: in 2015, a candle accident left a 20-year-old woman with 3rd degree burns over half her body. She was using nail polish remover (a flammable solvent) near a lit candle, and it caused a flash fire.
- Pets and candles don’t mix. They can knock over lit candles while playing or jumping up on furniture. More than a few cat owners can describe the acrid smell of singed cat fur caused by Miss Kitty’s too-close encounter with lit candles.
- Use proper candleholders. The holder should be flame-resistant and large enough to contain drips.
- Keep away from drafts. Pay attention to drafts caused by open windows, ceiling or table fans, and even from other candles. Drafts can cause candles to flare up or burn unevenly. Even a minor draft can blow loose paper into the candle flame and start a larger fire.
- Use a candle snuffer. The only time you should blow candles out is on your birthday – and still be careful then! A candle snuffer can protect you (and your furniture) from hot, melted wax spatters.
When the Worst Happens…
Remember that Elvis was speaking metaphorically when he sang about a “hunka hunka burning love,” so let’s be practical.
This is a good time to make sure your smoke alarm is working properly. Get Safe’s wireless smoke alarm watches when you’re away from home or otherwise occupied. It’s battery-powered, so it works even if your power is off. The ear-splitting 85 db alarm will wake even the soundest sleeper.
Enjoy a sweet, romantic Valentine’s Day with your significant other!