Snuff out fire risk during Candle Fire Safety Week

Candle Fire Safety Week

As part of the Fire Kills campaign, Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) is asking people to take care this Candle Fire Safety Week (11 – 17 October) and snuff out the risk of fire in their homes.

With winter fast approaching and the days drawing in, a display of candles around a room can lend brighten up an evening in or add some cheer to Halloween and Guy Fawkes celebrations.

Candle fires result in more than 300 casualties each year nationally, and around a third of all fires started by candles resulted in a death or injury, so HWFRS is asking people to be extra cautious with candles this winter.

The most important step to keeping yourself and your loved ones safe is to ensure your home has working smoke alarms. To prevent candle fires from starting in your home, you should make sure your candles are kept away from flammable materials like curtains, and ensure they are put out when you leave the room, even for a moment.

Emma Roberts, the Service’s Prevention Manager, said:

“Candles are a typical sight in many homes, scenting our rooms and giving an atmospheric glow to cold winter nights. But it’s important to remember that a candle is not just a decorative feature.

“We all need to take extra caution and guard against carelessness and the numerous distractions of our busy lives, especially in parts of the house we use most and where children are around and left unattended.

“Another hazard we sometimes encounter is candles being left near open windows and either blowing over in the wind or igniting a flapping curtain, so ensure place your lit candles with extra care, away from curtains, pets and children and don’t forget to put them out when you leave the room, even for a moment.”

Emma added:

“Even with these precautions it’s vital to be prepared should the worst happen. A working smoke alarm can give you that vital time you need to get out, stay out and call 999. Keep yourself and your loved ones safe by testing your alarm regularly and practising your escape routes.”

To help you enjoy your candles safely, HWFRS offers these top tips for this Candle Fire Safety Week:

  • never leave lit candles unattended
    and always put them out when you leave the room, even for a moment
  • place your candles carefully on a stable surface, out of the reach of pets and children
  • keep candles away from flammable
    objects like curtains, furniture, bedding and books
  • don’t move candles once they are lit, and don’t leave them near open windows
  • do not burn several candles close together as this might cause the flame to flare
  • only burn candles in a well-ventilated room, out of drafts, vents or air currents – to help prevent rapid or uneven burning, soot, and dripping
  • put candles out with a snuffer or a spoon – sparks can fly if you blow them out
  • always put scented candles in a heat resistant holder – they’re designed to liquefy when heated to maximum fragrance
  • fit a smoke alarm and test it now and weekly
  • make sure that everyone knows what to do if a fire happens– and practise your escape route
  • If there is a fire, get out, stay out and call 999.