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Candle Safety: Don't Burn the Place Down!

Updated on February 22, 2015
Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannie has been writing for HubPages for over 5 years. She covers a wide variety of topics—anything from hamsters to office work.


Candle Safety

Candles are really beautiful and add a certain ambiance to any home. Aside from their beauty, you can also buy a number of wonderful scents. Sometimes you need a candle to deodorize an area in a home.

Even though candles can be wonderful, they can also be very dangerous. A candle can easily set fire to items or even people if not watched carefully. A lit candle in a child's hands are always a safety hazard. Do you have pets? Don't let Kitty get too close to the flame! Children and pets can be quite mischievous, but that does not mean it is not easy to prevent a fire in their presence.

Trim the Wick

If you are going to use a candle over a long period of time, make sure to keep the wick's length at about 1/4th of an inch. If you notice your candle is emitting black smoke, chances are, the wick is too long. Not only can this cause a larger flame, and is therefore more likely to become a fire hazard, the smoke coming from the candle is dangerous to breathe. Simply put out the candle and trim the wick with a pair of scissors.

Once you light the candle again, you should notice less or no smoke at all. The candle is now much safer to use. Also, always make sure the candle is kept on a flat surface. The candle is much more likely to fall or get knocked over if this is not the case.

Bathroom Candles

Candles in the bathroom can be really beautiful. Nothing is more relaxing than a nice bubble bath and some lit candles. Even though this might sound obvious, it is so easy to forget: don't spray anything flammable while the candle is lit.

Sometimes a person can get really wrapped up in relaxing and enjoying their quiet time. Just don't forget, hairspray and perfume is extremely flammable. When you get out the tub, it is best to just blow out the candle right at that moment. We all have forgetful moments, but don't make a silly moment turn into a devastating disaster.


Children and Pets

Ah, those pesky kids and animals! If you have pets, you want to make sure the candle is high enough so the pet can't get to it. If you have a bird, obviously Petey the Parrot is going to be able to fly anywhere the candle is placed. You might want to keep him in the cage while the candle is lit. If you have a cat that loves to jump on the counter, obviously the counter will not be high enough to keep the candle away from Kitty.

For children, if you can place the candle out of arm's reach, especially if the candle is in the same room you are sitting, there should be no problem. If you are leaving the candle or child unattended for too long, obviously there is a good chance the child can get to the candle. You may want to wait to light it when little Junior is asleep. If you have older children, you can probably explain fire safety to them, and they should be OK. Make sure to mention that candle wax will burn them, too.

Tart Warmer - A Good Alternative

If you have especially "energetic" children or adventurous pets, a real candle may never be an option for you. If so, you may want to consider picking up an electric tart warmer. Yankee Candle sells tart warmers for a very reasonable price. You plug it into the wall and you put a tart on the warmer. A tart is a flat, wax disk and they are available in all the same scents as other Yankee Candle products.

A tart warmer is also a good alternative if you do not want to breathe in any smoke at all. Perhaps you are not a fan of fire in your home. If you do not want an open flame anywhere in your home, a tart warmer is good option. The only real flaw of the tart warmer is it's immobility. You must keep it near an electric socket and it is not as easy to move. Also, the hot wax from the warmer is still a bit of a safety hazard. Small children still should not play with it.

Parting Thoughts

I hope this hub has been helpful and you've starting thinking about candle safety in your own life. Just remember, accidents do happen, but they never have to escalate to a tragedy.

You should always keep candles on hand in case the electric should go out. Always remember where you keep the candles and the matches, and keep them somewhere where a child will not look. You should also have a fire extinguisher for larger fires and baking soda for small fires, especially kitchen fires. Prevention and preparation can save your life someday!


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  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Thank you! Sage & Citrus is another nice Yankee Candle scent. I forgot to add Maple Pancakes to the list, too.

  • profile image

    Jeanastra 6 years ago

    Voted up. I love Yankee Candles too and they're made right here in Massachusetts. My favorite scent is Sage & Citrus. :-)