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Candle Safety

Candles are safe products, but unless they are used safely and watched carefully, they can lead to an accidental fire.

More than 15,000 candle fires are reported annually. The bulk of candle-fire incidents are due to inattention to basic fire safety or to the misuse of candles.

Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service urges consumers to be careful when burning candles, and to follow these rules for burning candles safely.

  • Trim candlewicks to 1/4 inch each time before burning. Long or crooked wicks cause flickering, sooting and dripping.
  • Don't burn a candle all the way down. Extinguish the flame if it comes too close to the holder or container.
  • Always burn candles in a well-ventilated room but away from drafts, vents and air currents which may cause rapid flame flare-ups or blow lightweight curtains or papers into the flame.
  • Put candles out when you leave the room, and make sure they're put out completely before going to sleep.
  • Use a snuffer or a spoon to put out candles. It's safer than blowing them out when sparks and hot wax can fly.
  • Keep candles out of the reach of children or pets and do not place lighted candles where they can be knocked over.
  • Never touch a burning candle or move a candle when the wax is liquid.
  • Make sure candles are placed in a holder that is non-flammable, prevents the candle from falling over and is big enough for the size of candle you are using.
  • Be sure the candleholder is placed on a stable, heat-resistant surface which will prevent possible heat damage to surfaces and prevent glass containers from cracking or breaking.

Make sure candles are secured in a proper holder and away from materials that may catch fire, like curtains.

The video below summarises the points made above. Footage courtesy of

Don't place lit candles near objects that can catch on fire or blow into the flames, like curtains.

Don't leave lit candles alone, put them out before leaving the room.

Use a snuffer to out out candles, blowing them out can send sparks flying which can start a fire.