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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Snuff out the candle fire risk

23/11/2015

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is encouraging candle-users to stay safe for candle safety week and snuff out the risk of fire in their home.

“We would urge anyone using candles to ensure that they are in appropriate holders and are not placed on top of TVs or close to any combustible materials, such as curtains or bedding. We would also advise that candles are never left unattended and are extinguished before leaving the room or going to bed.”

Head of Risk Reduction, James Bywater

Candle safety week runs from November 23 – 29 and Staffordshire residents are urged to take on board the advice. 

Candles create an ambient glow and are a popular accessory in many homes on a cold winter’s night and in the lead up to Christmas. However countrywide candle fires accounted for 951 total accidental dwelling fires during 2013-14 and 11 fatalities across the UK. It’s important to remember that a candle is not just a decorative feature. Poorly positioned or unattended candles could leave a trail of devastation.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service are asking people to take extra care with candles this winter. To prevent candle fires from starting in your home, you should make sure your candles are kept away from flammable materials like curtains. Candles should be positioned well away from pets and children who could accidentally knock them over. Always ensure candles are put out when you leave the room, even for a moment.

Blackouts are more prevalent during the winter months. Always opt for torches instead of candles and keep one in a location that is easily accessible in the dark.
 
Head of Risk Reduction, James Bywater said: “We would urge anyone using candles to ensure that they are in appropriate holders and are not placed on top of TVs or close to any combustible materials, such as curtains or bedding. We would also advise that candles are never left unattended and are extinguished before leaving the room or going to bed.

“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.”

Tips on using candles safety include:

• Make sure candles are secured in a proper holder, on a stable surface, and away from materials that may catch fire - such as curtains
• Children and pets should never be left alone with lit candles
• Never leave a lit candle unattended. Put candles out whenever you leave the room, and make sure they’re put out completely at night
• Keep the wax pool clear of wick trimmings, matches and debris at all times
• Burn candles in a well-ventilated room, but avoid draughts, vents or air currents. This will help prevent rapid or uneven burning, sooting, and excessive dripping
• Trim the wick to ¼ inch each time before burning. Long or crooked wicks can cause uneven burning, dripping or flaring
• Don’t move candles once they are lit
• Follow the manufacturer's recommendations on burn time and proper use.
• Always put scented candles in a heat resistant holder, as these candles are designed to liquify when heated, to maximise fragrance.
• Do not burn several candles close together as this might cause the flame to flare.
Even with these precautions it’s vital to be prepared should the worst happen. A working smoke alarm can give you the vital time you need to get out, stay out, and call 999. Keep yourself and your loved ones safe by testing your alarm regularly and by planning and practising an escape route.

To book a free Home Fire Risk Check contact: 0800 0241 999.  You can also book online at http://www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/bookyourhfrc.asp.

For all other non emergency enquiries contact: 08451 22 11 55 or log onto: www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk or www.direct.gov.uk/firekills. In an emergency dial 999.


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