Candle Popularity Causes Concern
People have enjoyed using candles in their homes for many centuries, and in recent years, candles have become more popular than ever. The National Candle Association reports that candles are used in seven out of ten U.S. households and consumers spend $2 billion annually on candles.
But candles can be as dangerous as they are popular. The National Fire Protection Association reports that accidental candle fires account for approximately 4 percent of all residential fires in the United States.
- Put candles in a safe location-away from children, pets, and flammable materials.
- Keep candles away from drafts to prevent rapid, uneven burning and excessive smoke.
- Before lighting a new or used candle, always trim the wick to 1/4 inch to prevent the candle from smoking. If you see that the candle is smoking or that the flame is growing too large during use, extinguish the candle, trim the wick, and re-light.
- Use only sturdy candleholders that will securely hold the candle and are large enough to collect the dripping wax, which also is a fire hazard.
- Limit burning time; in general, it is best to keep candles lit for no more than four hours at a time.
Following these tips, as well as any instructions printed on your candles or candleholders, will help you safely enjoy the special atmosphere that candles bring to your home.