UGA GreenWay News

A Greener Way of Living, at Home and Abroad

Candle Safety – Prevent an Accidental Fire

Guest Blogger……Morgan Barnett, Master of Public Health Degree Candidate at The University of Georgia

Many of us burn candles to make a room smell good, or just for decorative use. While candles create a calming effect, the allure of candlelight can quickly turn into a disaster if proper safety measures are not followed.  Keep yourself, your loved ones, and your house protected by following these steps, as recommended by the National Candle Association:

  • Only burn candles using a candle holder and on a stable, heat-resistant surface.
  • Before burning a candle, trim candlewicks to ¼ inch each time- this could prevent uneven dripping or burning that could increase fire risk.
  • Always keep a burning candle within eyesight and blow it out before going to sleep or leaving the room.
  • Never put a candle near anything that could possibly catch fire – keep away from furniture, curtains, bedding, carpets, paper, etc.  Over half of all candle fires start because flammable items are too close to the candle.
  • Don’t ever place burning candles where they could accidentally be knocked over by pets, children, or anyone else.
  • Burn candles in a well-ventilated room but keep them away from drafts, ceiling fans, and air vents at all times.

candles edited 2

Consider switching to battery-operated candles. They look like real candles and are much safer.  Some even put off a scent.   Can you tell which one of these candles is lit by fire and which one is battery-operated?

The U.S. Fire Administration has more candle safety tips


About Pamela Turner

I am an Associate Professor and Extension Housing & Environment Specialist at the University of Georgia. I have a passion for helping people improve their home environment and live greener and healthier lives. An important part of that is helping people weed through all of the information to find trustworthy sources.

One comment on “Candle Safety – Prevent an Accidental Fire

  1. Candles are used to make the decoration more attractive. It needs a lot of attention while using it. Make sure to keep burning a good distance from other objects, especially flammable and combustible items or liquids.

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