Lighting Candles

There is a special beauty and tranquility when it comes to candles, but a candle is still an open flame and can be a considered a fire hazard if not carefully monitored. 

Before lighting safety tips
  • Before lighting a candle make sure to trim the wick to ¼ of an inch. You can use a wick trimmer, nail clippers or scissors. Long or crooked wicks can cause uneven burning, dripping or flaring.
  • Always use a study candle holder. These should be heat resistant and large enough to contain any dripping or melted wax. 
While burning safety tips
  • Never leave a candle unattended
  • Keep candles on high surfaces especially if you have young children or pets in the home that could knock over the candle.
  • Never burn a candle on or near anything that can catch on fire. 3 out of 5 fires start when candles are close to something that can burn. Keep Candles 1 foot (30 centimetres) away from anything that can catch fire.
  • Never us a candle as a night light or while you may fall asleep.
  • Be very careful when using candles during a power outage. Flashlights and other battery-powered lights are a safer source. 
  • Never use a candle if there is stored oxygen in the house (i.e. a medical oxygen tank).
  • Once candles are lit, place the lighter or matches back in a locked box so children can not access them. 
Extinguishing a candle
  • Use a candle snuffer to extinguish a candle. This is the safest way to prevent hot wax from splattering.
  • Don’t use water to extinguish a candle. Water can cause the hot wax to splatter.
  • Always make sure the candle is completely out and the wick is no longer glowing before leaving the room.
  • Never move or touch a candle until it is completely cooled.
  • ALWAYS blow out the candle when you leave the room.

Consider using flameless candles in your home. They look and smell like real candles.

Religious ceremony candle safety
  • Sometimes, lit candles are used in religious services, in places of worship and in the home.
  • December is the peak time of year for home candle fires, as they hold a prominent place in religious observations and also are a very popular addition to holiday décor.
  • When lighting candles at a candle lighting service, have the person with the unlit candle dip their candle into the flame of the lit candle.
  • Handled candles should not be passed from person to person.
  • Candles placed on, or near tables, altars, or shrines, must be watched by an adult.
  • If a candle must burn continuously, be sure it is enclosed in a glass container and placed in a sink, on a metal tray, or in a deep basin filled with water.

For more Candle fire safety information and tips visit NFPA Candle Safety, or NFPA Religious Candles.