According to the latest statistics from the National Fire Protection Association, from 2009-2013, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 9,300 home structure fires that were started by candles. These fires caused 86 deaths, 827 injuries and $374 million in direct property damage.
During the five-year period of 2009-2013:
Candles caused 3% of reported home fires, 3% of home fire deaths, 6% of home fire injuries, and 5% of the direct property damage in home fires.
Roughly one-third (36%) of home candle fires started in bedrooms. These fires caused 32% of the associated deaths and 47% of the associated injuries.
Falling asleep was a factor in 11% percent of the home candle fires and 30% of the associated deaths.
On average, 25 home candle fires were reported per day.
More than half (58%) of home candle fires occurred when some form of combustible material was left or came too close to the candle.
December is the peak time of year for home candle fires. In December, 11% of home candle fires began with decorations compared to 4% the rest of the year.
Keep these tips in mind when using candles:
- Ensure candles 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.
- Never put candles on a Christmas tree.
- Never leave the house with candles burning.
- Extinguish candles after use and never go to sleep while candles are still burning.
- NEVER leave burning candles unattended!
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