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Candle Safety During the Holidays

Candle Safety During the Holidays Candle Safety During the Holidays

by Eloy Gomez

safety/emergency coordinator

Decorative and fragranced wax candles are popular as an attractive addition to holiday home décor, but they are also a growing concern for the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) due to the increase of fires caused by unattended burning candles.

The most recent candlerelated fire call in Leisure World involved a medium-sized candle with multiple wicks that overheated, igniting the label on the container. That triggered an emergency response that included an OCFA engine, a ladder truck and four Seal Beach Police vehicles.

With the holidays nearly here, the OCFA is strongly recommending that LW residents decorate their homes with flameless flickering electric candles.

Flameless candles provide the same charming atmosphere and are completely safe to op- erate around children or pets. There is no risk of fire, smoke or wax damage.

However, people who must use candles to mark special events in their home should be aware that open flames are potential fire hazards. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the careless use of candles causes nearly 10,000 residential fires each year. Here are some helpful tips to avoid fires caused by candles.

Candle Fire Safety Tips To Keep Your Home Safe This Holiday Season Candle Fire Safety Dos

• Burn candles in wellventilated rooms.

• Keep candles at least 1 foot away from flammable objects, such as furniture, curtains, paper, plants or electronics.

• Burn candles in sturdy candle holders and place them on horizontal, stable and heatresistant surfaces.

• Keep lit candles at least 3 inches apart to ensure that they don’t melt one another.

• Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.

• Always supervise rooms with lit candles; blow them out if you leave the room or go to bed.

Candle Fire Safety Don’ts

• Don’t burn too many candles in a small room where air exchange is limited.

• Don’t burn candles in rooms with vents, drafts, fans or air currents to avoid rapid, uneven burning, flame flare-ups and soot formation.

• Don’t use candles in bedrooms or other sleeping areas. Statistically, most fires started by candles occur in the bedroom.

• Avoid burning candles all the way down. Douse candle flames when there are at least 2 inches of wax left (one-half inch if they are in a container).

• Don’t move candles when they’re burning since wax can drip and cause injuries. Extinguish candles before moving them.

• Avoid using candles during a power outage. Using or handling candles in the dark increases the risk of fire or injuries. Use flashlights and battery-powered lighting instead.

• Never use water to put out a candle to prevent hot wax from splashing. Use a candle snuffer to safely extinguish candles.

The Golden Rain Foundation wishes you and your family a happy holiday season. In partnership with the OCFA, it encourages residents to replace open flame candles with flameless candles for a candle-fire-free holiday season.

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