Candle Safety Day - December 9, 2013
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 and recommending that this day be observed in an appropriate manner by the people.
Candle Safety Tips
- Burn candles within a one-foot circle, free of anything that can burn.
- Before you go out, blow it out; 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.
126 Candle Fires Caused 7 Civilian Injuries, $4 Million Damages
In 2012, candles caused 126 fires, 7 civilian injuries, 8 firefighter injuries and an estimated dollar loss of $4 million in damages. There was a 9% increase from the 116 fires of all types started by candles in Massachusetts in 2011.
Most Candle Fires Happen During the Winter Holidays
Increased candle use during the winter holidays leads to more candle fires at this time of year. Between 2008 and 2012, Christmas Day (Dec. 25), Christmas Eve (Dec. 24), New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31), December 14 and 19, and Halloween, were the days of the year when the most candle fires occurred. Extra care should be taken to prevent candle fires during the holidays.
Gardner Has Largest Loss Candle Fire
On the afternoon of December 19, 2012, the Gardner Fire Department was called to a candle fire in a 175-unit apartment building. The fire started when a candle ignited the bedding in a fourth floor bedroom. Fortunately no one was injured at this fire and the smoke alarms worked. The building was not sprinklered and damages were estimated to be $980,000.
Over 1/3 of Candle Fires in Homes Occurred in the Bedroom
Of the 93 candle fires in residential structures, more than one-third (34%) occurred in the bedroom. It is all too easy to fall asleep and leave a candle burning unattended in the bedroom. Twenty-two percent (22%) occurred in the living room; Twelve percent (12%) occurred in the kitchen; 9% started in the bathroom and 6% started in bar areas.
Switch to Flameless Candles
To be safe, consider using flameless candles in your home. Have flashlights and battery-powered lighting ready to use during a power outage instead of traditional candles.