Candle fires account for 2.4% of all fires and result in 6% of total injuries from fires and 3% of all fatalities from fires.
The National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) reports candle fire incidents occur most often in the bedroom (45.2%), then in the family room (17.5%) and the bathroom (11.2%). The kitchen accounts for 6.3% of candle fire incidents. NFIRS also reports that the materials most often ignited by candles are cabinetry (9.4%); bedding (blankets, sheets, comforters, etc.) (7.7%); curtains and drapery (7.2%); mattresses & pillows (5.5%).
A study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission suggests that 85 percent of candle fires could be avoided if consumers followed three basic safety rules:
1. Never leave a burning candle unattended.
2. Never burn a candle on or near anything that might catch fire.
3. Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.
Proper Candle Burning
1. Trim the wick to ¼ inch each time before burning. Long or crooked wicks can cause uneven burning, dripping or flaring.
2. Burn candles in a well-ventilated room.
3. Place the candleholder on a stable, heat-resistant surface.
4. Keep the wax pool clear of wick trimmings, matches and debris at all times.
5. Avoid drafts, vents or air currents. This will help prevent rapid or uneven burning, and sooting.
6. Follow recommended burn times. This will prevent excessive heat build up.
1. Never touch or move a burning candle. Never move a votive or container candle when the wax is liquefied.
2. Don't burn a candle all the way down. For a margin of safety, discontinue burning a candle when 10% of the wax is left.
3. Extinguish a candle if the flame becomes too high or flickers repeatedly. Let the candle cool, trim the wick, and check for unwanted drafts before re-lighting.
4. Always keep the candle within your sight. If you are going to leave the room, be sure to first blow out all candles.
1. Use a candle snuffer to extinguish a candle. It's the safest way to prevent hot wax from splattering.
2. Never use water to extinguish a candle. Water can cause the hot wax to splatter and might break a glass container.
3. Make sure the candle is completely out and the wick ember is no longer glowing before leaving the room.
4. Don't touch or move the candle until it has completely cooled.