Candles are great for a lot of reasons, but all these benefits come with the very heavy cost of their potential to start deadly house fires. Fire damage experts generally recommend not using candles with an open flame for this reason. However, if you do decide to use candles, there are a few simple things you can do to reduce the risks they pose.
Here are five tips on candle safety from our restoration team at TCM Restoration.
The warning stickers on candles are easy to ignore. Yes, you know that candles should be kept away from children. Yes, you know that you should keep them in sight while they burn. However, there are some less obvious warnings specific to certain types of candles. These are worth looking out for and should not be taken for granted.
One example of this is the warning to trim to wick before burning. This is necessary for candles that come with excessively long wicks. Another example is the maximum amount of time the candle should be left burning. It’s not wise to exceed this timeframe. Finally, a warning may tell what surfaces to not place your candle on. Paying attention to and heeding these warnings will significantly improve your candle safety practices.
This is simple enough but still easy to neglect. Never leave the home or leave a candle otherwise unattended. It is a major risk to do so and very much not worth it. If needed, have an alarm set that will remind you to blow out the candle before leaving your home.
Anything with the potential to be lit on fire by a candle should be kept a safe distance from it. This is especially true of anything below the candle. If the candle were to fall, it would light something on the ground if it were to light up anything.
Another important tip for how to burn and blow out a candle properly is to keep the wick trimmed correctly. When lighting a new candle, trim off most of it but 1/4 inch of the wick before placing it in its holder. This ensures that the flame doesn’t go too far down the wick which would result in a shorter life span for the candle. It also helps prevent the candle from catching fire on nearby material due to over-extending itself. Once the candle burns through completely, remove the remaining portion of the wick.
When burning a candle, remember that it takes time for the candle to be fully extinguished. Therefore, do not expect a candle to extinguish instantly after removing it from its container. Allow the candle to cool slightly before trying to move it. Never put a wet candle near anything that might catch fire. And finally, once the candle has burned completely, dispose of it responsibly. It is recommended that you throw a used candle away in a sealed metal canister rather than just putting it in the trash.
If you choose to use candles, you don’t need to put yourself at unnecessary risk. At TCM Restoration, we hope you find the tips above helpful for responsibly using candles and preventing house fires.