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
- 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
- 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 fueling 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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