7 Best Candle Safety Tips to Keep Your Home Safe

7 Best Candle Safety Tips to Keep Your Home Safe

I love candles but there are a few candle safety tips I always follow. Candles are a small, contained fire. The last thing anyone needs is for that fire to spread. Anytime you have an open flame, like with a candle, there is a risk of fire. These candle safety tips will help lessen the risk.

1. Never Use A Candle As A Nightlight

This is an easy one and should be common sense. Don’t fall asleep with your candles burning. The risk for fire increases greatly if candles are left to burn for long periods of time unattended. If you love to watch the flicker of a candle as you fall asleep, try an electronic candle. They are much safer plus many have timers!

2. Don’t Burn A Candle Near Anything Flammable

Check for items around, below and above your candle. Could something flammable fall into your candle? If the candle was knocked over what might it touch that could cause a fire?

In addition to candles, common decor items include books, artwork and live plants. When used with an unlit candle these items present no fire damage. Once the wick is lit, however, care should be taken to ensure the candle is located where it won’t catch anything else on fire.

candle on table

3. Use Caution With Candles Around Kids and Pets

Younger kids especially are curious about the world around them and may want to touch or hold or carry candles. This presents both a burn danger for the child and a fire danger for the house. Use caution when lighting candles in households with children. Make sure they are in a safe location out of the reach of small children.

Similarly, be careful with candles around pets. Some candles are designed specifically to help mask the smell of pets in your home. Our pets can often be mischevious, wanting to get into things. Cats especially can jump to high places and accidentally knock over a candle. Dogs and birds require caution as well. Think about the kids playing fetch with the dog. If the candle is on the table and the dog bumps it, would the candle fall? Before you light a candle with pets in the area think about whether the location you place the candle is out of their reach.

4. Follow Manufacturer Instructions

Each candle will typically have instructions on the label or packaging. This will generally tell you how long the candle should burn for as well as the proper length of the wick. Following your candles manufacturer instructions will help ensure you can enjoy the candle safely.

5. Don’t Leave Candles Unattended

We know we shouldn’t fall asleep with a candle lit but, you should not leave any lit candle unattended. There are various ways the candle can become unstable even if you don’t have kids, don’t have pets and have the candle in a safe area.

6. Don’t Put Candles Out with Water

Water should never be used to extinguish a candle. Water and hot wax don’t mix, in fact, the combination creates a wax fire. The reaction can cause a large ball of fire much bigger than the small flame of a candle. Typically, blowing the candle out with your breath is sufficient. The safest way to extinguish a candle is to use a snuffer.

7. Have A Fire Extinguisher Around

A fire extinguisher in the house is just a good general safety practice but, especially so if you are going to be lighting candles. At a minimum, there should be one on each floor of your house. Each family member should know where they are and how to use them.

fire extinguisher
Fire extinguishers should be checked routinely.

The biggest take away from these candle safety tips should be that we must be careful when burning candles in our homes. Consider what could happen with an open flame and then adjust your candle placement or lighting habits accordingly.

This list of candle safety tips is not meant to be exhaustive. For more candle safety rules check out Candles.org.

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