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Safe Candles – Electronic, Smokeless Candles Consumer Guide

Updated on June 7, 2009

Better Safe Than Sorry!

Unfortunately, candles are not very safe. Strangely enough, they are still one of the best selling products on the market when it comes to gifts and home décor. Luckily, safe candles do exist and are readily available at approximately the same costs as burning regular ones. With these great alternatives, you’ll be able to still enjoy a lovely scented home and even be able to relax with a (faux) flame.

You’ll never know the difference when you switch to safe candles and you will easily be able to avoid all the dangers associated with candle burning. This article will cover the dangers of burning candles as well as the best safe candle alternatives.

Most Pets Aren't Scared of Open Flames

Dangers of Burning Candles

Fire Hazard & Burns Hazard

Each and every time you burn a candle, you have the potential of unintentionally starting a house fire. You also risk the chance of you or a loved one experiencing an open flame burn.

Another common and terrifying occurrence is that pets may accidentally brush their tails across an open flame. Then, the pet runs off confused as it tries to extinguish the fire, in the meanwhile spread the flame throughout your home. Not all pets remain cautious around fire, so do not count on your pet staying away from the open flame. 

Candle holders can also break with intense heat, especially near the end of burning a candle. If you forget a candle is burning and leave it unattended, you risk the chance of exposing your children and pets to burns as well as the tipping over or breaking of a candle holder.

Chemical Poisioning

The most common known fact about burning candles is that they omit carbon monoxide. While it is rare to be able to suffer from carbon monoxide poisoning, it is highly understood that it is best to avoid inhaling carbon monoxide in every situation. Why bring it into your home?

Another chemical concern is the issue of candles manufactured with lead wicks. Candles made in the U.S. no longer contain lead, however many candles are imported from oversees. Burning candles with lead wicks will release lead into the air. Not very romantic, is it?

After writing this hub, one reader, Candie V, submitted the following tip on how to check for lead wicks: "People need to know about the lead in the wicks and how to tell if there is any... if you run you finger over the top of the wick and it's a little sharp, there's lead..It's easier to tell if it's already been burned a little."

Best Candle Alternatives

In order to reduce the chances of having a house fire, experiencing a burn injury or exposing your family to lead wicks and carbon monoxide, it’s time to find the best safe candles! When choosing the best candle alternatives for your home, you have three main categories to choose from:

No Flame, Smokeless Candles

First off, you can use an electronic candle heater. You simply place a traditional candle that you received as a gift, turn on the heater and the wax will begin to melt and omit the scent. No flame required!

The second option is to use a tart ‘burner’ or melter which allows you to melt small wax tarts with no flame by heating them up. They, too will omit the scent of your choice. Wax tarts are fun because they are small so you can frequently purchase new scents to try. Also mix and match half of several wax tarts to make your own custom scents. Have a cherry wax tart and a lime wax tart? Break each in half and melt two halves together for a refreshing cherry lime scent. The possibilities are endless!

Electronic Candles

What’s the purpose of electronic candles? Electronic candles serve the same purpose as electronic fireplaces. They still set the mood and create a calming atmosphere in your home by creating a 'faux' flame. But, since there is no real flame and the heat is coming from a safe, controlled electricity source, there is little to no danger of accidental fires, burn injuries or even carbon monoxide poisoning.

Electronic candles are typically unscented and are therefore fantastic for those with sensitive allergies. They also last a lot longer (if not forever!) than burning regular candles as there is no wax to melt away.

Do You Use Safe Candles?

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Flameless & Scented Candles

Flameless, electronic and scented candles are some of the coolest safe candle innovation on today’s market. Here, you get the best of both worlds – a scent of your choice to help relax and soothe you as well as the calming, peaceful flicker of a faux flame.  Next time you're shopping for safe candles, you should give these type a go!


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    • profile image

      lol 5 years ago

      As far as the tip about checking for lead wicks, it's not even close. Wicks can also be zinc or copper which are both sharp. Your best bet for knowing if the candle has a lead wick is to read the packaging or call the manufacturer. They have to tell you. Know your candle company and buy from the ones you trust.

    • profile image

      Diane  8 years ago

      Having asthma, burning candles is not an option for me. But, I love my home to reflect the scent of the season or my mood. Also, candles do pose a safety and health risk for children and pets. I was introduced to a Scentsy warmer and I am amazed at the scent it puts out. It is also very safe around children and animals because there is no flame (among the numerous safety benefits from that alone) and the wax isn't 'burning' like you do with a candle. The wax is 'warmed'. In fact, once your wax melts you or your child can place your fingers in the wax and it does not burn. It feels just like getting your hands or feet dipped at the salon!

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 8 years ago from malang-indonesia

      thanks for great information. I like your hub. How about "aromatic candle" , I think it useful for relaxation.

    • girly_girl09 profile image

      girly_girl09 8 years ago from United States

      @ RVDaniels - I like candles when in the bath tub, too. I still use fake ones though because the way my tub is designed I have to set them up close to the shower curtain...wouldn't want my bath to go up in flames! lol

      @ Men Are Dorks - Give them a go...I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. :)

      @ Candie V - Hi Candie - thanks for that tip! I'll include it in the hub.

      @Gypsy Willow - The cat in the video isn't mine, but acted VERY similar to mine...lots of pets are fascinated with flames (not good!)

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Excellent idea! Thanks for telling us about them. That cat is amazing, yours? My friend burned an outdoor candle indoors and ruined the drapes,had to completely redecorate. The damage was unbelievable. She went out and left it burning. They are so dangerous. A friend set herself on fire at a party once. Her blouse brushed against a candle and poof! she was ablaze. scary

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 8 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      People need to know about the lead in the wicks and how to tell if there is any..I didn't see that in your hub.. if you run you finger over the top of the wick and it's a little sharp, there's's easier to tell if it's already been burned a little. Please add that in the hub, too.. good job!

    • men are dorks profile image

      men are dorks 8 years ago from Namibia

      Sounds good but there is no better companion than a candle, be it romantically, to induce atmosphere, or just the flickering of the candle light.

      Gonna try those new electronic stuff ot, but doubt it wil be the same. I might be pleasantly surprised, lets wait and see.

    • RVDaniels profile image

      RVDaniels 8 years ago from Athens, GA

      Very interesting. What is it with the ladies and candles on the bath tub?

    • girly_girl09 profile image

      girly_girl09 8 years ago from United States

      You're welcome! My cat who recently passed away was OBSESSED with regular flames so I had to make the switch a few years back. She would come so close to lighting her tail on fire, as well as her whiskers!

      I started using the tart melts with an electric warmer/melter and fell in love. They're cheap and you can change the scents often to make yummy scented combintions. :) They also don't have the sulfur smell that comes after you extinguish a regular candle; that completely ruins the scenting your home purpose!

    • profile image

      wordscribe41 8 years ago

      Great hub, girlygirl. I LOVE and adore candles, but I do worry about my cats knocking them over. I have yet to check out the flameless candles, might have to do so. I am also getting tired of the candle wax mess. Thanks for the information.