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Candle safety

Almost 5% of all reported house fires in the UK are started by candles and in the last 10 years candle fires have almost trebled.

Top tips for safe use of candles:

  • never leave candles unattended
  • always sit candle holders on a heat resistant surface
  • keep candles out of the reach of children and pets
  • do not touch or move a candle until it is fully cooled
  • trim the wick of the candle to ½ cm each time before burning
  • sit candles on a level surface away from flammable materials, heat or draughts
  • never allow the flame to come in contact with glass
  • if a candle overheats and flares, cover it with a damp cloth, never throw water over it
  • do not burn a candle for longer than the manufacturer recommends
  • always place candles at least four inches apart from one another to be sure they don't melt one another, or create their own draughts causing them to burn improperly

Gel candles burn hotter than wax and the heat can shatter a glass candle holder or container, making it more likely that nearby flammable will catch fire.

If you have any concerns about the safety of candles you have seen on sale, or have bought you should contact Environmental Services or Consumer and Trading Standards.