Candle Safety Tips from the MFD

The Montclair Fire Department gives tips from the NFPA on how to safely light candles this winter season, especially during the holidays with family.

Candle safely with these tips.

© Stuart Key | Dreamstime Stock Photos

The use of candles always increases in the winter, and the Montclair Fire Department has reported that they have already responded to a number of candle fires this season.

The National Fire Protection Association reports that an estimated 10,630 home structure fires are started by candles each year. On average 29 home fires started by candles are called in every day across the country. The fires have approximately 115 deaths, 903 civilian injuries and resulted in over $418 million in property damage.

According to the NFPA, the following are tips for how to prevent fire from candles this holiday season. Candles may be pretty to look at but they are a cause of home fires — and home fire deaths. Remember, a candle is an open flame, which means that it can easily ignite anything that can burn. Blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed. Avoid the use of candles in the bedroom and other areas where people may fall asleep. Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn. Think about using flameless ones in your home. They look and smell like the real thing.

If you do burn candles, make sure that you use candle holders that are sturdy, and won’t tip over easily. Put candle holders on a sturdy, uncluttered surface. Light candles carefully. Keep your hair and any loose clothing away from the flame. Don’t burn a candle all the way down — put it out before it gets too close to the holder or container. Never use a candle if oxygen is used in the home. Have flashlights and battery-powered lighting ready to use during a power outage.

Additionally, never leave a child alone in a room it. Keep matches and lighters up high and out of children’s reach, in a locked cabinet. December is the peak time of year for home candle fires. Roughly one-third of home candle fires started in the bedroom. More than half of all the fires start when things that can burn are too close to the candle.

If you have any questions, contact Montclair Fire Official John Thomas at 973-509-4769 or visit:

Be sure to stay safe during the winter by lighting candles in a secure way.

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