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Safety Tips

Candles

Photo of Candle Flame

In recent years, numerous fires in the City of San Diego have been caused by unattended candles. Nationally, candles cause an estimated 15,600 fires in residences, 150 deaths, 1,270 injuries, and $539 million in estimated direct property damage each year. More candle fires begin in the bedroom than in any other room. Falling asleep is a factor in 12% of home candle fires and 26% of the associated deaths.

Candle Safety Advice

  • Avoid using lighted candles
  • If you do use candles, ensure they are in sturdy metal, glass, or ceramic holders and placed where they cannot be easily knocked down.
  • Never leave a burning candle unattended.
  • Always burn candles on heat resistant surfaces. A candle can melt plastic.
  • Never burn candles near combustibles such as curtains or decorations.
  • Never put candles near windows or exits.
  • Never leave candles within reach of small children or pets.
  • Keep burning candles at least four inches apart.
  • Votive and scented candles turn to liquid as they burn. Be sure they are in a glass or metal container.
  • Extinguish candles before leaving a room or falling asleep.
  • Keep the candle wick neatly trimmed down to 1/4 inch. Trimming the wick keeps the candle burning slower with less smoke.
  • When a candle's flame gets too high, blow it out, let it cool, trim the wick again to 1/4", and then relight.

Download our free candle safety tip sheet