Candles are a great way to keep your house smelling fresh and add personality to your decor. But, candles are a major cause of house fires, so learn to use them correctly.
- Never leave a burning candle unattended. This sounds simple, but it only takes seconds for something to happen. This doesn't exactly mean that you must be in the same room as the candle, but make sure you can see it wherever you go.
- Place the candle on a sturdy, heat-resistant surface. Don't leave candles on a plastic or otherwise flammable tray or on an endurable that can be easily knocked over. Rule of thumb: If anyone, or a pet, can knock over the table, it's unsafe for the candle.
- Put candles out of reach of pets and children. Be sure that your cat can't jump onto the table. If a candle is on a countertop, make sure it is as far back as it can go while staying four inches from the wall and other things. This way, a child can't reach over and grab it.
- Always keep a candle at least four inches away from nonflammable items and at least eight inches away from flammable things. Nothing can ignite if it's not close enough, right?
- Avoid placing candles in high-traffic areas. Candles can get bumped over easily in high-traffic rooms. It's safer to leave them in sitting areas or bathrooms than a living room or hallway.
- Tie up drapes or curtains near a candle. A sudden draft could easily blow those curtains into the flame. If your windows are open, avoid burning candles altogether.
- Always use candle holders. If a wick is too short, the holder will extinguish the flame. But, if you just have a candle sitting on a counter, you run the risk of burning the surface.
- Purchase a candle topper. These little silver plates go over the top of a candle to keep the flame burning in one direction and eliminate smoke.
- Avoid stick candles and votive candles. These often don't come in a flame-resistant container and are known to fall over. They also burn quickly and can be a waste of time.
- Extinguish and throw away candles with a wick less than one fourth of an inch. The wick is too low and is unsafe for burning.
- Make sure your pets can't knock over a candle, or get burned by the flame.
- Don't forget to put them out before sleeping.
- Don't drink alcohol and burn candles.
- When putting out a candle, ensure the wick is really out.
- Educate others about what you learned here.
- Candles will burn longer if the wick is snipped close to the candle.
- Candles can be dangerous if not used properly. This is just a guideline, and may not cater to specific candles' needs. Make sure to read the entire directions on the candle before use.