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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Candle Safety Week

08/11/2011

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is encouraging candle-users to stay safe for candle safety week.

"People tend to use candles more during the winter months but it is important that they are aware of the dangers candles can pose."

Risk Reduction Manager, Dave Steele

Candle safety week falls in the third week of November this year, beginning on November 14th, and Staffordshire residents are encouraged to take on board the advice.

Over 1,000 fires across England last year were caused by candles, 17 of which were in Staffordshire and resulted in six casualties. Earlier this year, a 79-year-old woman from Stoke-on-Trent died in a house fire which was started by candles.

Risk Reduction Manager, Dave Steele said: "People tend to use candles more during the winter months. Sometimes as a source of light, heat or just decoration but it is important that they are aware of the dangers candles can pose.

"Candles should never be left unattended and extinguished properly before going to bed. They should also be placed away from curtains and other combustible materials and should not be placed on top of a TV.

"The candle should always be in a proper candle holder on a flat and stable surface and if you use tea lights they need to be on a heat-resistant surface such as a ceramic plate.

"A safer option for those who enjoy the light of candles is to use electronic tea lights, which can be purchased for a small cost and are battery operated instead of requiring a flame. These electronic candles are just as effective at creating an atmosphere but are much safer than a candle."

Tips on using candles safety include:
• Never leave candles unattended or go to sleep while they are lit.
• Leave plenty of space above and around the candle and its holder.
• Place candles in a draught-free area away from curtains, furniture and other flammable surfaces.
• Always use a proper candle-holder and fit the candle in firmly.
• Make sure candles are put on a surface that is flat and stable.
• Always use a heat-resistant surface such as a ceramic plate for tea lights.
• Never place candles on top of televisions.
• Keep candles out of reach of children and pets.
• Never attempt to move a candle once it is lit.
• Always use a candle-snuffer, or an upturned metal spoon to extinguish the candle and allow cooling before moving it.