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West Midlands Fire Service Brand Bar

Safety Hub

Candle safety

Candles may be beautiful and soothing, but they are flames and need to be handled with care.
British Sign Language video for this safety page

Keeping safe with candles

Candles can create a relaxing or special atmosphere. They also bring fire into your home. So treat them carefully. Be sure to keep a burning candle in sight, and extinguish them before leaving a room or going to sleep.

  • never burn a candle on, or near, anything that can catch fire
  • keep them out of the reach of children and pets, and away from anywhere they might knock them over
  • place burning candles at least three inches apart so they don’t melt one another or create draughts that can cause the candles to flare
  • always use a sturdy, heat-resistant candle holder on a heat-resistant surface that’s big enough to contain drips and melted wax
  • keep burning candles away from draughts, vents, ceiling fans and air currents. Draughts could also blow lightweight items into a flame where they could catch fire.

Putting them out

Extinguishing candles with water could be dangerous.  It might cause hot wax to splatter, which could cause a glass container to break. Instead, use a metal spoon or a snuffer. Make sure a candle is completely extinguished and the wick is no longer glowing before leaving the room. Never use a candle as a night light. Never touch or move a burning candle when the wax is liquid.

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