Candles Are Cozy – But Stay Safe!

Fall and winter means cozy evenings at home with friends and family. Nothing sets a cozy mood like some candles to give a warm glow and provide a little warmth. While we all love candles, did you know that they account for almost 15,600 house fires each year? Candles may be cozy, but you need to remember some simple candle-burning safety tips. Here are some simple ways to keep you and your home safe.

Never leave a candle unattended.

All it takes is a second for something to catch fire. This might tip might seem obvious but unattended candles that cause fires happen all the time. If you light a candle, make sure you are within eyesight of that candle at all times. If you leave the room, blow it out or take it with you.


Keep them away from flammable items.

Again, this might seem obvious but the flame could catch a draft and catch curtains, drapes, papers, and other decorations and household items on fire. Be sure to place candles inside candleholders that are at least 1-inch higher than the flame. This can help reduce the risk of the flame touching anything nearby. If the flames start flickering, smoking, sparking, or they become tall, blow the candle out and trim the wicks down. Keep the wicks at about 1/4-inch to a 1/2-inch above the wax.

Make sure the candle is stable.

You don’t want the candle to tip or fall over. If a votive or pillar candle seems tippy inside a candleholder, use a product like “Stick-Um Candle Adhesive” to keep them sturdy. Also make sure that the table or whatever you are placing the candle on is sturdy. This is especially key when you have lots of people, kids and pets in that room that could potentially bump into the furniture.


Take care when lighting candles.

When lighting a multiple-wick candle, light the farthest wick from you first and then the ones closest to you. This will help prevent you from reaching over the flame and burning your hand.

Burn candles correctly.

Use candle holders that are specifically made for candles. They should be sturdy, heat resistant, and able to catch drips. Wait until the candle is cool before, moving it around. You don’t want the wax to spill on you or the floor. If you have multiple candles, place them at least three inches away from each other to avoid them melting each other.


Most of all, use common sense when burning candles in your home. Making sure the area around the candle is clutter-free, using the right kind of candle holder, and keeping wicks trimmed can all help prevent fires in your home. If the candle comes with a manufacturer’s safety tag, be sure to read that so you can enjoy your candle safely. We hope you use some of these safety tips and enjoy the warmth and glow candles have to offer. If your candles always flicker from hidden air-flow, consider having our HEAT Squad team perform an energy audit to see where air leakage may be happening – they can help you make your home even cozier! Stay safe!


Author, Bailey Aines, part-time NWWVT employee.