Fire & EMS

Candles

Today we find pretty candles everywhere, from dedicated candle stores to supermarkets to the fundraising items for our schools.  Candles can be found in beautiful holders, sweet scented and artfully constructed.  They are sought out for a variety of reasons from dinner hostess to religious observers.  Yet, a lit candle’s grace and beauty - it’s open flame - can unintentionally cause serious harm when fire safety concerns play second fiddle to ambiance.

While the incidence of home fires in the nation appear to be dropping steadily, it appears that fires started by candles is increasing.  A companion study, co-written by the National Fire Protection Association, clearly shows that in one state, candle fires have tripled in the last decade.

The candle as an art form, mood setter or religious item is fine, generally speaking.  None of us advocates outlawing candles in the home.  But, lit candles have no place in our home when we leave them alone or fall asleep.  It’s that simple.

Most candle fires start when candles are left unattended, abandoned or inadequately controlled, or because they are placed too close to combustible materials, or children play with them.

Keep in mind some simple safety tips for lit candles: supervise them constantly, use sturdy noncombustible holders, keep them away from windows, curtains and other combustibles such as decorations and make sure they are positioned so that children and pets can’t knock them over.

Candles are pretty and warming, but the last thing any of us wants to read about is another preventable fire and another painful tragedy