Candle fires cause a lot of damage, and are more common than you might imagine:
- Candles cause 3% of home fires, 3% of home fire deaths, 6% of home fire injuries and 5% of the direct property damage in home fires.
- Approximately 36% of home candle fires started in bedrooms, and they caused 32% of the associated deaths.
- An average of 25 home candle fires are reported each day.
With statistics like these, you’ll want to exercise an abundance of caution the next time you light your favorite candles. Follow these tips to enjoy candles safely in your home:
- Never leave candles, or anything involving a flame, like a fire in your fireplace or a lit cigarette, burning unattended. Always extinguish the flame when leaving the room or before going to bed. Avoid using candles in the bedroom or other areas where people may fall asleep.
- Keep candles at least a foot away from anything flammable. This is especially important to remember around the holidays, when flammable decorations are commonly displayed around the home. Put candles on a sturdy, uncluttered surface.
- Never leave children or pets unattended with burning candles. It’s all too easy for a candle to get knocked over by accident by your four-legged friends or small children, which can result in ignition of a fire or even burns from spilled wax.
- If you love the glow of candlelight, consider using flameless candles as a safer alternative. They don’t produce nearly as much heat, and have the added bonus of not producing soot like standard candles.
- Use candle holders that are sturdy and won’t tip over easily. Avoid using candle holders that are made of plastic or other flammable materials. Lightweight candle holders might look beautiful, but definitely aren’t as safe to use.
- Trim candle wicks to keep flames from flaring. Most candles should be trimmed to no more than a quarter inch in length. If you light a candle and the flame appears to be brighter or larger than normal, blow the candle out, allow it to cool and trim the wick before relighting.
- Don’t burn candles all the way to the bottom. Many manufacturers recommend that candles should be burned to a half inch from the bottom, ensuring that glass holders do not crack and that candles do not overheat.
With a few extra safety precautions, you can enjoy your favorite scented candle without worrying about an accident. Even the most careful homeowners can’t prevent every accident, and you can rest assured that in the event that an accidental fire does occur, National General will be ready to help you with any claim. Not sure what’s covered under your current homeowners policy, or if you have the right coverage to protect the things you love most? Reach out to your local agent for more info. They are happy to answer any questions you may have, and help you get the homeowners coverage you need to help you feel secure.
Credit: National General Insurance