Have Yourself a Harm-Free Holiday with These Candle Safety Tips

The holiday season is in full swing, and candles are a popular addition to festive décor. While candles are beloved for the ambience they create, they also come with a risk. In fact, the top three days for residential candle fires in the United States occur during the holiday season – on New Year’s Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve.

As you start sprucing up your home and hosting gatherings, make sure that safety remains a top priority. About 85 percent of residential candle fires could be avoided by what we call the big three candle safety rules:

1. Never leave a burning candle unattended. Just like Santa Claus, you better “watch out” for any burning candles. During instances where your hosting duties require you to bounce from room-to-room, have a guest keep an eye on candles. Alternatively, consider lighting candles for a few hours before guests arrive to scent your home and blow them out when the party gets started. Never burn a candle in an area where you might fall asleep.

2. Deck the halls, but space things out. When decorating your home, keep candles away from anything that may catch fire. Watch out for items such as greenery, decorations, and curtains. Consider displaying an electric menorah in your window instead of candles, and save the candles for a sturdy open space like a table. Candles also make for an elegant display on your mantel, or as a centerpiece when grouped together. Always make sure that candles are placed at least 3 inches apart.

3. Keep candles out of Rudolph’s reach – and any pets or children! Just like you have a special spot for hiding holiday gifts, make sure your lit candles are just as inaccessible to children and pets to reduce the risk of accidents. Placing them up high and out-of-reach is your best bet. This will also help to make sure they are not toppled over if you many people moving around a room.

For a full list of safe candle protocol, check out our Candle Safety Guidelines. For additional information on candles and fire safety, visit our Fire Safety page.