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Made out of molded wax, thread and can come in different sizes, shapes, colors and scents. Although they often create warm, soothing glows, candles are one of the most common sources of indoor fire outbreaks. This is because candles harbour an open form of radicalized air that cause spontaneous combustion.

Candle fires outbreaks usually starts when something that could burn—such as furniture, mattresses, bedding, curtains, flowers or decorations—was too close to the candle. In 16 percent of the fires, the candles were unattended or abandoned. 


Over the years studies has shown that candles causes over 2% of reported home fires, 3% of home fire deaths, 6% of home fire injuries, and 4% of the direct property damage in home fires and that December seems to be the peak month for candle caused fire outbreaks, followed closely by January. Eleven percent of these incidents occurred in each of the two months. Candle fires appear to be related to holiday decorations. Twelve percent of December candle fires began with decorations. Only 4 percent of candle fires in January to November began with such items. Almost three times as many fires started by candles were reported on Christmas (average of 58 Christmas fires) as the daily average.


Using a glass jar as a candle container is considered best practice. The glass prevents the open flame from reaching any flammable objects and setting your house on fire. Even then, make sure to keep the candle at least 1 foot away from any curtains or other items that might catch fire.  Do not place the candle directly on a plate, as the open flame can spread. If you want to burn a candle for a longer time, place it in a glass container located on a metal tray or a basin filled with water, however, this under certain conditions this form of candle use can also prove to be hazardous.



Candles are no longer used  as light sources, rather they are used as part of the décor in your living room, bedroom or bathroom. While people use it less for its light, it is important to keep in mind that a burning candle is still an open flame. This means that it can easily ignite any combustible material that’s close. 

  • Place the candle away from anything flammable.

Make sure that there is nothing flammable in the vicinity of your candles.  Keep burning candles away from furniture, curtains and drapes, bedding, carpets, books, paper, flammable decorations, clothing, hair etc.

Don’t place your candles under shelves as there is a lot of heat above a burning candle. There should be at least 1m between the candle flame and the surface above it.

  • Place the candle on a stable, heat-resistant surface.

We recommend using a candle holder specifically designed for candle use. The holder should be heat resistant, sturdy, and large enough to catch any drips or hot melted wax. Always put candles including ones already in containers on a heat resistant surface. You should be especially careful with night lights and tea lights, as they can get hot enough to melt plastic.It is also important to make sure the holders are set on flat, stable surfaces to minimize the chance they will tip over.

  • Install smoke alarms

You should have smoke alarms on each level of your home, inside each bedroom, on the hallways and other rooms. Test your alarms monthly and replace them once every 10 years or when needed.

  • Burn candles in a well-ventilated room. 

Don’t burn too many candles in a small room or in a “tight” home where air is limited.

  • Keep the wax pool clear.

Make sure your candle is free of wick trimmings, matches and debris at all times as these things can catch fire.

  • Avoid drafts, vents or air currents.

Making sure that you place the candle away from any drafts, vents, fans or air currents will prevent rapid and uneven burning, avoid flare-ups and sooting. Strong drafts could also blow nearby lightweight items into the flame where they could catch fire.

While candles do require ventilation so that they do not exhaust the oxygen in the room, they should also be kept away from drafts in order to ensure a controlled burn.

  • Place burning candles apart from one another.

When arranging candles make sure that burning candles are placed at least 10cm away from each other. This will help stop the candles melting each other or creating their own drafts which would cause uneven and improper burning.

  • Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.

Do not place lighted candles where they can be knocked over by children, pets or anyone else.

Candle Explosions

The fact that candles can explode doesn’t mean that you need to throw away all of your favorite candles, though. You just need to be mindful of using candles safely so that you can avoid any problems that could occur from accidents. Firstly, it should be said that candle explosion might not be the right term to use. Candles aren’t little sticks of dynamite that are waiting to go off or anything like that. It’s more accurate to say that candles can cause fires and that a candle fire could cause a type of explosion. It’s now therefore highly imperative to note that these glass vases and containers used for holding most candles can explode if certain conditions are met.

When water comes into contact with candle wax, it has the potential to create a reaction that will cause the wax to splatter. Wax melts at very high temperatures and this is going to cause the area around the candle to get hotter and hotter.

The hottest area of a candle is typically going to be the very center of the candle. Once things get hot enough, the glass container or vase is going to explode due to the heat. As you likely expect, this is going to be very dangerous and you don’t want to be anywhere near a candle when it explodes. You could wind up being injured by glass shards and you certainly wouldn’t want to get glass in your eyes. It’s also very possible that this candle explosion could cause a large fire and that could be more than problematic.

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