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The following video, created by our Community Safety Officer Laraine, explains how to stay safe at home when using candles. Please watch, and scroll below for some additional advice.

Please take care using candles around your home – why not use LED candles, they are safe and will not set clothing or other materials alight.

Follow our advice below:

  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions and recommendations on burn time and proper use;
  • Make sure that lit candles are secure in a proper holder so they don’t fall over;
  • Keep candles away from combustible materials such as curtains, loose flowing clothes, paper, books, cardboard and fabric covered furniture, these will catch fire if the flame of the candle accidentally comes into contact with them;
  • Place candles in a heat-resistant holder or on a heat-resistant surface – be especially careful with night lights and tea lights, the metallic cases get hot enough to melt plastic and burn wood;
  • Never put candles on a shelf under another shelf, it could catch the one above on fire;
  • Don’t leave children alone with lit candles, they might play with them;
  • Keep candles away from pets who might knock them over;
  • Put candles out when you leave the room, and make sure they’re put out completely at night when you go to bed;
  • Keep the wax pool clear of wick trimmings, matches and debris at all times;
  • Always trim the wick to approximately 5mm
  • Avoid contamination such as spent matches in the candle wax, this can cause dangerous ‘double wicking’ to occur;
  • Burn candles in a well-ventilated room, but avoid drafts, vents or air currents to prevent rapid or uneven burning, sooting, and excessive dripping;
  • Trim candle wicks to ¼ inch or 0.5cm before lighting as long or crooked wicks can cause uneven burning, dripping or flaring;
  • Don’t move candles once they are lit;
  • Do not burn several candles close together as this might cause flaring, particularly with tea-lights;
  • Make sure you snuff out the candle fully when you are finished with it or when leaving the room for any time;
  • Always use a candle snuffer or a spoon to put out candles as it’s safer than blowing them out which can cause sparks to fly and ignite other material.
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