Candles can be a serious fire hazard if they are not used properly. The misuse of candles is one of the major causes of residential fires, especially during the winter season and during the holidays. In Canada, each year there is nearly $26.2 million in property damage due to residential fires.1 Residential fires endanger everyone on the property, and even small fires that are put out quickly can often result in a large amount damage.

Identifying and lowering these risks will help you lower your chances of a residential fire, keeping your residents, or family, and property safe.

Keep candle away from flammable items

When using a candle, never leave a candle unattended and always keep candle flames at least 12 inches away from any flammable items such as tissues, blankets and curtains or other materials that may ignite.

Match and lighter fire safety

Matches and lighters used to light candles can be equally dangerous if left in a place where children can reach them. Lighters are easier to ignite than matches so you should never underestimate a child’s curiosity when you have left a lighter unattended. When you are not using matches or lighters, keep them locked in a secure place when children are around to avoid children gaining access.

Never leave a candle unattended

A lit candle is an open flame and it becomes a potential fire hazard if it is not carefully monitored. You should never leave a candle unattended if you plan on leaving the room. Make sure to blow candles out every time you leave the room and keep them away from any flammable items. If you are worried you will forget about a lit candle, try setting a reminder timer on your phone.

Use secure, well-ventilated candle holders

Place candles in a secure, well ventilated candleholder that is sturdy and will not tip over. Avoid purchasing a candleholder that is wooden or plastic as these materials can catch fire. You should also use caution with glass candle holders which have the chance of breaking if this glass becomes too hot from the flame.

Avoid candles with multiple wicks

Be extra cautious if you are burning candles with more than one wick. Having multiple wicks can cause a large flame increasing your risk of fire hazard. Avoid buying candles with multiple wicks that are close together to decrease your risk.

Fire safety

Keep a fire extinguisher handy to decrease your risk of a large residential fire. Being able to put out a fire quickly before it escalates is important for both safety and preventing property damage. The best way to respond quickly and control a fire is to have a fire extinguisher within reach of the fire source. Another way to minimize your risk is to stay on top of fire alarm maintenance. It is important to test your fire alarm monthly and replace the batteries twice a year.

If you become the victim of fire and/or smoke damage at your property, Streamside Property Restoration can help. Our expert technicians and inspectors are trained to immediately respond and inspect your property following a fire and/or smoke related damage, and help restore your property back to its pre-loss condition.

1 Source:, It’s Your Health, Candle Safety