Candles are a common site in many homes and now that the dark nights are drawing in, the number of candles being lit is increasing. However, the beauty of candles is linked to a risk. Last year candles were the cause of over 1,000 fires across England and many Fire Brigades are encouraging the general public this week to think carefully about safety when using candles.
When setting out candles to be lit it is very important to consider the surface they sit on, they should always be placed on a non-flammable base such as a glass or porcelain dish or on a candle stick. When the candle burns down the base of it can get very hot and could cause the surface underneath to ignite if not protected. A hotel fire, at Burstin Grand Hotel in 2009, was caused through a guest putting a tea light on top of the television, forgetting to blow it out before they left the room. The candle burnt through and set the television alight.
Candles should be placed away from curtains and and other combustible materials such as books, bedding and soft furnishings. Ensure that children can not reach them or knock them over. When a candle is tipped and hot wax is spilled it can ignite very quickly.
Ensure that any matches or lighters used to light candles are kept well out of reach of children and that children know about the dangers of playing with them.
Ensure that you have a working smoke alarm in the rooms where you are burning candles and that you test them regularly. A candle can put you, your home and your family at risk. Do not underestimate the dangers candles pose and use them with caution whilst enjoying their atmosphere.
For more information go to http://www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/1960.asp