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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Safety warning following flat fire in Burton

11/12/2013

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is warning about the dangers of leaving lit candles unattended following a flat fire in Burton.

"A lot of people buy decorative candles at this time of year and, with all the Christmas decorations in people’s homes, they can pose a real hazard if they are not used responsibly." 

Group manager for the east of the county Tim Hyde

The blaze broke out at an apartment in Pavilion Grove after the occupant lit a candle on Monday afternoon and then left the property.

She returned at 3.17pm and realised that the flat was alight. She alerted the fire service and two crews from Burton attended the incident.

They used two breathing apparatus along with one hose reel jet to extinguish the blaze.

The female occupant was given Oxygen therapy at the scene but did not require hospital treatment.

Firefighters left the scene at 3.59pm. Investigations have shown the fire to have been accidental.

Group manager for the east of the county Tim Hyde said: "A lot of people buy decorative candles at this time of year and, with all the Christmas decorations in people’s homes, they can pose a real hazard if they are not used responsibly. Lit candles should never be left unattended and people should always make sure that they are fully extinguished before going to bed.

"Never place them near to curtains or other combustible materials and don’t put them on top of televisions. It is vital to put lit candles in proper candle holders on a completely flat and stable surface. Alternatively, electronic tea lights are battery operated and can be just as effective but much safer."

Follow the below tips for candle safety:

•    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 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 places 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 it to cool before moving it