candle-safetyAccording to the National Candle Association, 7 out of 10 homes in the United States use candles and reported sales of candles are estimated at two billion dollars each year.

Candles are burned for a variety of reasons from relaxation to lighting a dark room during a power outage. They add romance and ambiance to an event or intimate meal. Many religions use candles as part of their ceremonies and rituals.
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Candle Uses

The illumination from a candle is not the most prominent reason for burning a candle. Buyers report that fragrance is one of the most important choices for their candle purchase and will influence the type of candle selected. They are used in aromatherapy settings and help with relaxation and stress reduction. Candles with lavender scents are believed to aid in relaxation based on the healing properties of lavender in plant form.

Candle Safety

With over two billion dollars’ worth of candles being purchased each year, purchasers should understand how to use candles safely.

The U. S. Fire Administration reports an average of 42 home candle fires happen each and every day with 166 deaths occurring from those fires annually. It’s very important to exercise caution and candle safety when lighting candles in the home.

It’s essential that homes have fire alarms and smoke detectors. Experts recommend having a fire alarm service wired directly into home security systems. Authorities can respond quickly to reports of fire while occupants are still trying to vacate the home. This lowers the threat of death significantly.

Candle Handling

Proper handling is an important part of candle safety. Start by removing the packaging from the candle completely. If the candle has a plastic film, remove that film from the candle before lighting it.

Trim the wick before burning. Long wicks cause more dripping, flaring and uneven burning of the candle.

Make sure the candle is on a surface that is resistant to heat. The surface should be stable and bare of anything that can catch fire.

Never leave a candle burning without watching it closely. If there’s a candle burning, extinguish it before leaving the room.

Keep the candle out of reach of children and in an area that can’t be bumped causing the candle to fall. All lighters and matches should be out of children’s reach too.

The candle shouldn’t be kept in a window or in a drafty area where material can cross the flame or the flame can flow into material causing it to catch fire.

Don’t burn candles in the bedroom or fall asleep while candles are lit. Bedroom fires from burning candles top the list of candle fires each year.

Home security systems with a fire alarm service are important but not a substitute for proper candle and fire safety. Make sure the whole family understands the safety rules regarding fire and candle handling. Don’t let children walk around with lit candles during a power outage or to move the candle from one room to another.

Candle fires are more common than many people are aware of, and proper candle usage reduces the risk of fire significantly. The whole family should practice proper fire safety, and understand the consequences if they don’t.

Todd Bedford
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