Lighting a candle successfully is an important skill that can easily be exercised with care to ensure safety. Reduce the risks associated with lighting a candle by observing some basic precautions when lighting your candle.
Obtain a box of safety matches. These matches are longer than ordinary matches and will reduce the risk of burning yourself.
Place the candle in a sturdy container. The container should not wobble, rock or be in any danger of tipping. Do not place the candle on any unstable objects, such as a pile of books. The container should also be able to collect dripping wax.
Clear the area around the candle. Remove any flammable objects or clutter such as papers, dried floral decorations, ornaments etc. Also be sure to keep the candle at least 1 foot/ 30 cm away from hanging objects such as curtains and window tassels that may blow into the pathway of the candle.
Trim the wick. If the wick is too long, it presents a potential hazard. The wick should be no longer than 1/4 inch / 5 mm before you light it.
Ignite the match. The trick to successfully lighting a candle is to lower the match slowly and lean it against the wick of the candle. If you are near a breeze, cup your hand around the flame without touching it. This will help stop the lit match from going out.
Place the middle of the flame on the wick. Leave it there for approximately 3 seconds, or until the wick catches fire.
Remove the match and extinguish. You can either blow it out or shake it out with a quick flick of your hand.
To extinguish a candle, it is safest to use a snuffer. These can be bought in many stores that sell candles. They not only save you from having to touch the candle directly but they also prevent the unpleasant odor and smoke trail that emanates from poorly extinguished candles.
Candles should be extinguished when they are 2 inches / 5 cm from the base.
Always extinguish a candle before moving it unless it is safely tucked away inside a glass candle container.
Next time you light a candle, try an incense candle. When lit they release sweet scents, such as lavender, rosemary or the smell of freshly mown hay.