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FOCUS ON Candle Fire Safety

February radiates romance and love. And, what better way to set a romantic atmosphere than to light a candle? Although the flickering flames of a candle are beautiful, they need to be used with caution. The Bakersfield Fire Department would like to remind you of the dangers related to lighted candles in your home. The majority of candle fires result from human error and negligence. Candle fires and their associated casualties are preventable.

If a fire does break out, every second counts. Escape first, and then call for help. Develop a home fire escape plan and practice it frequently with your family. Designate a meeting place outside. Make sure everyone in the family knows two ways to escape from every room. Never stand up in a fire, always crawl low under the smoke, and try to keep your mouth covered. Never return to a burning building for any reason: it may cost you your life.

Finally, having a working smoke alarm dramatically increases your chances of surviving a fire. For more information and additional safety tips from the Bakersfield Fire Department, please visit

Causes and Circumstances of Home Candle Fires

On average, 42 home candle fires are reported every day.

More than half of all candle fires start when something ignitable is too close to the candle (, bedding, curtains, decorations, etc.).

In one-fifth (20%) of candle fires, the candles are unattended or abandoned.

Over one-third (36%) of home candle fires begin in the bedroom.

Falling asleep is a factor in 12% of home candle fires and 36% of the associated deaths.

One-half of home candle fire deaths occur between Midnight and 6 am.

Young children and older adults have the highest death risk from candle fires.

The risk of fatal candle fires appears higher when candles are used for light.

Candle Safety Tips

If possible, avoid using lighted candles.

If you do use candles, ensure they are in sturdy metal, glass or ceramic holders and placed where they cannot be easily knocked down.

Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.

Set a good example by using matches, lighters, and fire carefully.

Children should never be allowed to play with matches, lighters, or candles.

Extinguish candles after use and before going to bed.

And NEVER leave burning candles unattended!

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Tags: Food & Home, Health

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