Monday, 16 July 2012

Serious Brighton fire sparks candle safety warning

Concerns have been raised over candle safety following a recent serious fire at a property in Clarence Square.

Three children had to be rescued from a flat fire after a candle was lit and placed on the window sill of the lounge.

The occupants were unaware that a fire had started in the lounge until they were alerted by the smoke alarm.

Crews were called to the property on 28th June at 9.13pm after reports that there were people trapped inside the building.

Four fire engines and an Aerial Ladder Platform from Preston Circus and Hove were sent to deal with the situation.

Five police officers had already gone into the building to attempt to rescue the occupants but were unable to do so because of the effects of inhaling smoke. Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus went into the top floor flat and brought out the three occupants, a boy aged four, and a girl and boy, both aged 14.

The three children and the five police officers, a Sergeant and four Constables, were treated at the Royal Sussex County Hospital for the effects of smoke inhalation. None of the firefighters were injured or required any treatment.

It’s believed this fire was caused by a candle which had set light to one of the curtains.

East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service would like to warn others of how easily an innocuous candle can quickly have devastating repercussions.

You can prevent fires when using candles by following these simple safety tips:
You should take care where you decide to put candles in your home. 

Lighted candles and where to put them

Candles are best placed:
  • On a heat-resistant surface - be especially careful with night lights and tea lights, which get hot enough to melt plastic.
  • In a proper candle holder, so they don't fall over.
  • Out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Out of draughts and away from curtains, other fabrics or furniture which could catch fire.
  • With at least 1 metre (3 feet) between the candle and any surface above it.
  • With at least 10 centimetres (4 inches) between any two candles.
  • Away from clothes and hair - if there's any chance you could forget where a candle is and lean across it, put it somewhere else.
Make sure you put out candles before moving them and don't let anything fall into the hot wax, like matchsticks.

Putting candles out:
Never leave a candle unattended. Make sure you:
  • Put out candles before you leave a room and before you go to bed.
  • Never leave a burning candle or oil burner in a child's bedroom.
  • Use a snuffer or a metal spoon to put them out - blowing them can send sparks and hot wax flying.
  • Double-check that they are completely out and not still smouldering.
For further information on candle safety including candles and decoration for celebrations, decorative and electrical safety visit our Community Safety pages.

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