Candles are becoming an increasingly popular method of scenting the air and eliminating odors. They’re particularly popular during holidays, but can easily ignite a fire without the proper precautions. The following tips enable individuals to safely enjoy candles in their home whether they’re being used to create ambiance or they’re providing light if the power goes out.

Burning Candles

Rule No. 1 is to never leave a candle burning unattended. There should always be at least one person in a room where the candle is burning and never leave them lit when leaving home. If everyone moves to another room, extinguish the candle. The safest way to put out a candle flame is with a candle snuffer.

The Base

Always place candles on a solid base for stability and one that’s large enough to comfortably catch any wax drippings.

Distance

Burning candles should never be placed near flammable items such as drapes, books or paper, furniture and bedding, carpets, or decorations. It only takes moments for those types of materials to ignite.

Moving Candles

You should never move a candle while it’s lit or the wax is still liquified. Bear in mind that liquified wax can take several minutes to completely cool and solidify.

Burning Limits

Candles aren’t designed to be burned down to a nub. Change them out before they burn too low. A good rule of thumb is to replace taper candles when about ½ an inch of candle length remains and two inches for pillar candles.

Spacing

It’s never a good idea to place candles too close together. Dripping wax from one can ignite another. A good safety distance is to leave at least three inches between candles.

Wicks and Drafts

Candle wicks that exhibit a high flame should be trimmed. Wait until the candle cools sufficiently. If the flame is flickering repeatedly, the candle may be in the line of an unknown draft. Extinguish the flame and when it’s safe to do so, move it to a different location.

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