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To Our Children Section

NFPA Fact Sheet on Candle Safety

Remember: A candle is an open flame. It can easily ignite any combustible nearby.

The NFPA offers the following tips for safe use of candles:

  • Use candles only with constant adult supervision.
  • Extinguish all candles when leaving a room or going to sleep.
  • Keep candles well away from items that can catch fire, such as Christmas trees, flammable decorations, clothing, books, paper, curtains, etc.
  • Make sure candles are placed on a secure piece of furniture, in sturdy holders that will not tip over. Make sure candleholders are non-combustible and big enough to collect dripping wax.
  • Do not place lit candles in windows, where blinds or curtains can close over them.
  • Keep wicks trimmed to ¼ inch, and extinguish candles when they burn down to within two inches of the holder.
  • Keep candles and all open flames away from flammable liquids.
  • Do not use candles in places where they can be knocked over by children or pets.

Where young children are present:

  • Keep candles up high, out of reach of children.
  • Never leave a child unattended in a room with a candle. A child should not sleep in a room with a lit candle.
  • Keep all matches and lighters up high and out of the sight and reach of children, preferably in a locked cabinet.

During power outages:

  • Flashlights and other lights generated by batteries are much safer light sources than candles.
  • Try to avoid carrying a lit candle. 
  • Don't use a candle to go into a closet to look for things.
  • Never use a candle for light when fuelling equipment such as a kerosene heater or lantern. The flame may ignite the fumes.
  • Extinguish all candles when leaving the home or when going to sleep.

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