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Watch for Candle Fires and Stay Safe all Winter Long

December 31, 2013
Candles are used for a variety of reasons throughout the year, but in most households winter is the season for increased candle use. Most people understand that they should exercise caution when burning candles, but accidents still happen. Though the following guidelines may seem elementary, it’s a good idea to review safe candle burning policies from time to time.

Ambiance

Flickering candlelight leaves a soft glow over the entire room. This can have a spellbinding effect when it hits the sparkle of glass and crystal. When romantic souls do not have fireplaces, they might burn candles during a cozy dinner with that special someone.

Candles During Power Outages

Winter storms cause power outages frequently in areas that are prone to high winds. Most residents are not surprised by the loss of electricity and will stock up on flashlights and candles for the storm. Those who don’t must rely on candlelight in the event of a power outage.

Prevent Candle Fires

The U. S. Fire Administration reports that more than 55 percent of the fires that start as a result of candle use begin because the flame was too near other materials. Candles should be kept away from combustible materials, especially paper and fabrics. Those materials are not fireproof and will catch fire quickly. The flame should also be kept away from drafts.

Candle Safety

Children should never have access to candles, lighters or matches. They shouldn’t be allowed to have a candle in their room. If the lights go out, the whole family can gather into one space, so everyone can use the candles. Place candles on a level, stable surface to keep them from falling over onto combustible materials, and be sure to extinguish all candles before going to bed.

Combat Home Fires

Professionals in home alarm safety systems recommend a fire extinguisher be placed in various rooms throughout the home, but not in the basement. Extinguishers should be placed in accessible areas, so in the event of a fire, they will be easy to reach. Home alarms should be wired to smoke detectors and monitored by an alarm company. The fire department can be contacted immediately in the event of a fire that is too large to handle with a fire extinguisher.

Fire Escape Plan

Even though the home has extinguishers, there is a time when everyone should leave the house. Don’t stay and fight a fire with a small home extinguisher. Let the professionals handle it. Have an escape plan for your family and make sure everyone knows the plan. Point out the exits, so everyone knows how to escape the home. Mark a meeting spot in a neighbor’s yard for the family to gather.

When a smoke detector is wired directly into a house alarm system, the alarm company can send the fire department at the first sign of trouble. This will make it more likely that everyone in the family will get out of the house without a problem. In most cases, the resident’s possessions will be largely intact too.