For Immediate Release - December 09, 2013

December 6, 2013 - Candle Safety Day

Candle Safety Awareness Day is Monday, December 9, 2013

State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan announced that Monday, December 9, 2013 will be Candle Safety Awareness Day and advised consumers to use candles safely during this holiday season and throughout the year. The second Monday in December has been established as Candle Safety Day by MGL C.6: S.12XX to promote the safe use of candles in the Commonwealth.

State Fire Marshal Coan said, “Many of the holidays celebrated at this time of year use candles. Sadly, the increased candle use at this time of year causes a boost in candle fires.” Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve are among the days when the most candle fires occur. “Candles should be blown out whenever you leave the room or go to sleep; and children should always be supervised, especially when around burning candles,” he added, “It’s important to burn candles inside a one-foot circle of safety, free of anything that can burn such as holiday decorations or curtains.”

Last December, candles ignited fireplace mantel decorations in Stow and twice in Walpole. Candles ignited dining room table decorations in Medford and in Northampton last holiday season. “A fire is always a terrible event, but one at this time of year always seems worse,” said Coan.

In 2012, candles caused 126 fires of all types. These fires caused seven civilian injuries, eight firefighter injuries and an estimated dollar loss of $4 million in damages. There was a 9% increase from the 116 candles fires in Massachusetts in 2011. Over one-third started in the bedroom.

Marshal Coan recommends that in order to reduce the risk of fire, candles should be used within a Circle of Safety, and offers these safety tips:

• Burn candles within a one-foot circle, free of anything that can burn.
• Never leave candles burning unattended.
• Always extinguish candles after use.
• Use a non-combustible saucer or candleholder.
• Keep candles out of reach of children and pets.
• Consider switching to battery-operated flameless candles.

For additional information on candle safety, visit the Department of Fire Services web page at www.mass.gov/dfs or contact the Fire Data and Public Education Unit at 978-567-3380 or toll-free at 1-877-9NO-FIRE (1-877-966-3472).