East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service are asking people to take care this Candle Fire Safety Week and snuff out the risk of fire in their homes.
With the days growing darker and winter setting in, a few candles scattered around the room can lend a warm glow to an evening in or add some festive cheer to the season’s celebrations such as Guy Fawkes’ night, Diwali and Christmas.
Candles are a typical sight in many homes, scenting our rooms and giving an atmospheric glow to cold winter nights. But it’s important to remember that a candle is not just a decorative feature. Left unattended, an open flame scenting your home could leave a trail of devastation.
In 2012/13 East Sussex Fire & Rescue reported 16 fires caused by candles which resulted in three injuries.
Head of Business Safety, Richard Fowler said: “Candle fires can be extremely serious. Candles and tea lights get extremely hot when they burn down. We had an example of a fire in Hastings that was started accidentally after a candle was placed on a television. Eight fire appliances were needed for that particular fire, which caused extensive damage.”
Community Safety Team Manager, Steve Wright, said: “The most important step you can take in keeping yourself and your loved ones safe is to ensure your home has a working smoke alarm.
“To prevent candle fires from starting in your home, you should make sure your candles are kept away from flammable materials like curtains and ensure candles are put out when you leave the room, even for a moment.”
East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service offers the following advice:
· Place your lit candles with extra care, away from curtains, pets and children and always remember to put them out when you leave the room, even for a moment.”
· Even with these precautions it’s vital to be prepared should the worst happen. A working smoke alarm can give you the vital time you need to get out, stay out and call 999. Keep yourself and your loved ones safe by testing your alarm regularly and by practising your escape routes.”
· Never leave lit candles unattended. Put burning candles out when you leave the room, and make sure they’re out completely at night.
· Place your candles carefully. Make sure they are on a stable surface, out of the reach of pets and children, and keep them away from flammable objects like curtains, furniture, bedding and books.
· Don’t move candles once they are lit
· Do not burn several candles close together as this might cause the flame to flare
· Burn candles in a well-ventilated room, out of drafts, vents or air currents. This will help prevent rapid or uneven burning, soot, and dripping.
· Put candles out with a snuffer or a spoon - sparks can fly if you blow them out.
· Always put scented candles in a heat resistant holder. These candles are designed to liquefy when heated to maximise fragrance.
· Fit a smoke alarm and test it regularly. A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999.
· Make sure that everyone in your home knows what to do if a fire should occur– practise your escape route.