Candles are a wonderful way to add scent, beauty, and mood lighting to your home. However, it is also important to remember that all candles involve open flames and this means that candles need to be respected and used correctly to be safe. To stay safe and to add a little beauty to your life, be sure to follow these rules of candle safety:
1. Buy high-quality candles. Unfortunately, some low-cost imported candles are not terribly safe. Some have been found to contain lead wicks and chemical fillers. Some have thin jars that break when the candle heats up. When you burn a candle, that candle’s ingredients become part of your air quality. Therefore, always look for candles made by respected manufacturers and make sure the candles you trust in your home are made from high quality ingredients that are safe for you to use.
2. Always keep an eye on your candles. Candles need to be supervised at all times. Even a few seconds is enough for a pet or a child to knock a candle down and start a fire.
3. Choose your candle locations carefully. When you place your candles around your home, look for spots that are away from walls, curtains, books, papers, and other flammable objects. Place your candles on a solid metal or glass surface that will not light on fire. All candles can heat up objects near them and when the objects close to candles are flammable, this heat might be enough to start a fire.
4. Get into the habit of blowing out your candles when you are not in the room. Not only will this ensure that you can enjoy every last drop of your scented candles, it will ensure that you do not forget about your candles and leave the house with candles still burning.
5. Make sure that your smoke detectors are working. Whether you use candles or not, you should have at least one smoke detector on every floor of your home. At least once every few months, you should check to make sure that the batteries in the smoke detector continue to work. If there is a fire in your home, smoke detectors are your first line of defense and ensure that you get out safely.
6. Keep candles up high. Place candles at face level or above. This ensures that they won’t be knocked over as you walk by. If you have pets or children, keeping candles up high also ensures that curious paws or hands don’t come too close to the open flame.
7. Before lighting candles or relighting them, ensure that wicks are ¼ of an inch in length. You may need to trim wicks from time to time, but shorter wicks ensure that your candles burn evenly and don’t drip. Trimmed wicks also reduce harmful soot.
8. Do not allow debris – such as wick trimmings or matches – to fall into the candles. This debris can catch on fire.
9. Always read and follow the safety instructions that come with your candle. The instructions are there to help you make the most of your new purchase safely.