NFPA offers candle safety tips

Published 9:31 am Friday, February 7, 2020

As Valentine’s Day approaches, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) encourages everyone to keep in mind candle safety tips to avoid a not so lovely evening.

“Though candles add ambience, they can also result in an unplanned visit from your local fire department,” says Lorraine Carli, vice president of Outreach and Advocacy for NFPA.

According to NFPA research, between 2013 and 2017, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 7,900 home structure fires that were started by candles per year. These fires caused an annual average of 80 civilian fire deaths and 720 civilian fire injuries annually; with three of every five (60 percent) home candle fires occurring when something that easily burns was left or came too close to the candle. More than one-third (37 percent) of home candle fires started in the bedroom.

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Five things you should know to avoid a candle fire:

• Keep candles at least 12 inches from anything that can burn.

• Blow out all candles before you leave a room or go to bed.

• If a candle must burn continuously, be sure it is enclosed in a glass container; or placed in a sink, on a metal tray, or in a deep basin filled with water.

• Hand-held candles should not be passed from one person to another at any time.

• Never leave children alone in a room with a burning candle.

NFPA always reminds the public to make sure they have working smoke alarms and to develop and practice an escape plan. For more information about candle safety, visit