What is cozier than sitting down to relax with the presence of a flickering candle in the room? As adults though, we are often taught that we must think beyond comfort, when it comes to safety. Candle fires have risen to a 19 year high after a decade long decling. One and two family dwellings, manfuacatured housing, and apartments have been on an uphill track recently, according to the statistics from the National Fire Protection Agency. During the five-ye…ar period of 2009-2013, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 9,300 home structure fires started by candles per year. These fires caused an annual average of 86 civilian deaths, 827 civilian fire injuries, and $374 million in direct property damage.
Candles caused 3% of total reported home fires, and home fire deaths, 6% of home fire injuries, and 5% of associated direct property damage during 2009-2013. Candles ranked eighth among the leading cause categories in number of fires, tied for sixth in home fire deaths, also ranked sixth in home fire injuries, and ranked seventh in direct property damage.1
Candle fires ranked second among the major causes in rate of injury per thousand fires and average loss per fire. During this period, home candles caused 9.2 deaths and 88.9 injuries per thousand fires, as well as an average loss of $40,000 per fire. In contrast, home structure fires overall caused 6.9 deaths and 36.1 injuries per thousand reported home fires with an average loss of $19,000 per fire.
Haveing unattened abandoned, or inadequatley controlled candles are the leading causes of home candle fires, which is followed by leaving candles too close to combustibles. Having small children or pets such as cats also put you at higher risk.
* Extinguish all candles when leaving the room or going to sleep
* Keep candles away from items that can catch fire, such as clothing, books, papers, curtians, inside plants and trees, and anything flamable.
*Use sturdy candleholders that wont tip over easy, are made of a material that cant burn, and are large enough to collect dripping wax.
*Dont place lit candles in windows where blinds and curtains can close over on them.
*Place candleholders on a sturdy,uncluttered surface and dont use candles in places where your children or pets can knock them over.
*Dont allow children and teens to have candles in their bedrooms
*Keep candles up high, out of reach of children and never leave a candle unattended when children or pets are in the house.
*Dont use candles in a power outage. Use flashlights whenever possible.