Be Smart About Candle Safety



The holiday season brings fun, festivity and lots of good food. It also brings more opportunities to use candles as decorative pieces. However beautiful candles are, keep in mind the dangers that candles can pose. The National Candle Association offers these safety tips and rules to keep you, your loved ones and property safe this holiday season.

  • Always keep a burning candle within sight. Extinguish all candles when leaving a room or before going to sleep. Be sure the wick ember is no longer glowing.
  • Never burn a candle on or near anything that can catch fire. Keep burning candles away from furniture, drapes, bedding, carpets, books, paper, flammable decorations, etc.
  • Keep burning candles out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Trim candlewicks to one-quarter inch each time before burning. Long or crooked wicks can cause uneven burning and dripping.
  • Always use a candleholder specifically designed for candle use. The holder should be heat resistant, sturdy, and large enough to contain any drips or melted wax.
  • Be sure the candleholder is placed on a stable, heat-resistant surface. This can help prevent heat damage to underlying surfaces and prevent glass containers from breaking.
  • Keep the wax pool free of wick trimmings, matches and debris at all times.
  • Always read and follow the manufacturer’s use and safety instructions carefully. Don’t burn a candle longer than the manufacturer recommends.
  • Keep burning candles away from drafts, vents, ceiling fans and air currents. This will help prevent rapid, uneven burning, and avoid flame flare-ups and sooting. Drafts can also blow nearby lightweight items into the flame where they could catch fire.
  • Always burn candles in a well-ventilated room. Don’t burn too many candles in a small room or in a “tight” home where air exchange is limited.
  • Don’t burn a candle all the way down. Extinguish the flame if it comes too close to the holder or container. For a margin of safety, discontinue burning a candle when two inches of wax remains or a half-inch if in a container.
  • Never touch or move a burning candle or container candle when the wax is liquid.
  • Never use a knife or sharp object to remove wax drippings from a glass holder. It might scratch, weaken, or cause the glass to break upon subsequent use.
  • Place burning candles at least three inches apart from one another. This helps ensure they don’t melt one another, or create their own drafts to cause improper burning.
  • Use a snuffer to extinguish a candle. It’s the safest way to prevent hot wax splatters.
  • Extinguish a candle if it repeatedly smokes, flickers, or the flame becomes too high.