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Candles Can Be Dangerous

2nd of December 2000

With Christmas approaching, there is nothing quite as relaxing, when it comes to create a soothing, festive atmosphere, as candlelight. Once upon a time the only candles found in peoples homes were kept under the stairs in case of power cuts. But nowadays it has become very fashionable to use candles for lighting and decoration. Television programmes have promoted candles with images of rooms filled with them creating that special effect. And, of course, design fashions aside, whatever your religion, certain occasions and festivals wouldnt be the same without the subtle sobriety of candlelight.
But please be aware that they are a serious fire risk in your home (as is any naked flame) and need to be treated with a little thought and respect. There were 2020 fires in the UK last year that were caused by candles (a 56% increase on 5 years ago). Twelve of these claimed lives and 805 of them caused injuries.
Tea light candles can be particularly dangerous if not used properly and have been identified as the cause of a number of property fires due to lack of understanding. They must NEVER be used as a ‘stand alone candle. Once the wax has melted in the little aluminium cup, it is possible for that cup to reach temperatures in excess of 200 degrees centigrade. This is more than enough heat to melt the top of your television set, stereo or plastic bath, allowing the candle to drop through and ignite the hot plastic on its way.
Candles and Christmas trees definitely do not mix. Anyone who has thrown evergreen cuttings on a bonfire will know how ferociously they burn. A Christmas tree is an evergreen and it will create a ferociously burning fire within seconds in your home if you get a naked light near it! (Even the flame retardant treatments cannot guarantee your safety.)
Enjoy your candlelight in safety:
Dont underestimate candles
Always use candleholders that were designed for the purpose
Never place candles on plastic or other easily combustible surfaces
Never leave a room unattended without extinguishing the candles before you leave
If you have any questions regarding this article, or on any other fire safety issue, please feel free to ring Hemel Hempstead Fire Station on 01442 265028 where either myself or one of my colleagues will be glad to assist.
Sub Officer John Print GIFireE Green Watch, Hemel Hempstead Fire Station

 
This page is edited by Tony

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