The Three Stages of Candle Safely, as identified by the National Candle Association

The results of a study conducted by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission found that 85 percent of fires originating from candles can be avoided or mitigated by following three cardinal rules for candle safety. They are:

~ Never leave a burning candle unattended.
~Keep candles away from pets and out of reach of children.
~Never burn a candle on or near anything that is flammable or may catch on fire.


The Three Stages of Candle Safely

Prior to Lighting:

~ Always burn candles in a room with adequate ventilation. Avoiding air vents, drafts, and currents will reduce uneven/rapid burning, excessive dripping, and soot.
~ Always trim the wick to ¼ inch using nail clippers, scissors, or a wick trimmer. Long and/or crooked wicks can cause uneven burning, dripping or flaring.
~ Use matches or lighters with long-reach capabilities in order to prevent fingers, clothing, and hair from being burned. Always keep fingers, clothing, hair, and any other items away from open candle flames.
~ Keep the wax pool clear of wick trimmings, matches and debris at all times, as this can increase the risk of unintentional fire.
~ Always place the candle on or in a sturdy, heat resistant holder or surface large enough to collect any drippings that is specifically designed for use in burning candles.

While the Candle is Burning:

~ Again, NEVER leave a candle unattended.
~ ALWAYS ensure candles are out of the reach of children and away from pets, and never place a candle anywhere where it may be accidentally knocked over by pets, children, or anyone else.
~ Do not burn a candle on or near anything that can catch fire, such as paper, books/magazines, furniture, drapery, carpets, etc.
~ Never use a candle as a night light or anytime that you may fall asleep.
~ Place burning candles at least three inches apart from one another in order to ensure they don’t burn improperly, cause their own drafts, or melt one another.
~ Do not move or touch a candle while it is burning or while the wax is still liquefied.
~ Avoid burning a candle all the way down. As a safety margin, discontinue burning a candle when there is only 1/2 inch wax remaining in the container.
~ Extinguish a candle if the flame becomes too high or flickers repeatedly. Let the candle cool, trim the wick, and check for unwanted drafts before re-lighting.
~ Use extreme caution if using candles during a power outage. NEVER use a candle to search in closets, confined spaces, or while attempting to fuel or manipulate equipment such as generators, kerosene or propane lanterns, or heaters. This is even more important during a power outage. Flashlights or other battery-powered light sources are safer sources of light during a power outage.

When Extinguishing a Candle: 

~ NEVER use water to extinguish a candle. This may crack or break the container, as well as splash the liquified wax pool. Candle snuffers, or simply blowing out the flame, is the safest way to extinguish the flame.
~ Prior to leaving the room, ensure the candle is completely out and the wick ember is no longer glowing.
~ Wait until the candle has completely cooled before touching or moving.
~ Never use a knife or sharp object to remove wax drippings from a glass holder. This may  scratch, weaken, or cause the glass to break upon subsequent use.

These general safety guidelines are posted on, and can be found at, the National Candle Association. Please visit their website @ to explore all things candle.

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