Take care when using candles, say firefighters

Candles burningAs the winter months arrive, firefighters from Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) are reminding people to take care when using candles.

Since April this year AF&RS has dealt with six fires which were started by candles being used incorrectly. Two of those incidents occurred recently - one at a house in Hanham in September while a family were sleeping and the second at a Polish Church in Bristol.

Both incidents were caused by candles left burning unattended.

Between April 2012 and March 2013 AF&RS dealt with 23 fires involving candles. That compares to 17 between April 2011 and March 2012.

During Candle Safety Week (Monday 18 to Sunday 24 November) firefighters are reminding people about the dangers of using candles incorrectly.

AF&RS Station Manager for Community Safety John Rides said: “While candles can provide a warm and relaxing environment during the dark nights, they can also cause huge amounts of damage if a fire breaks out because they have not been used correctly.

“Many people use candles as part of celebrations so we hope our safety tips will ensure that those celebrations are happy occasions which don’t end in disaster.

“During candle safety week we want people to think about the way they use candles and follow our safety tips to ensure they reduce the risk of a fire breaking out.”

Safety advice:

  • Make sure candles are well away from furnishings and curtains.
  • Never leave candles burning unattended. Make sure they are fully extinguished after use.
  • When using tealights, nightlights and scented candles, always place them in a suitable holder as they can get very hot and may melt the surface they are on.
  • Use a snuffer or a spoon to put out candles. It’s safer than blowing them out when sparks can fly.
  • Children should never be left alone with lit candles.