Candles are safe when burned properly, responsibly and according to manufacturer directions. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that a burning candle is an open flame, and thus a potential fire hazard if not monitored carefully. Crafted Candles recommends the following safety tips:
- Always keep a burning candle within sight. Extinguish all candles when leaving a room or before going to sleep.
- Never burn a candle on or near anything that can catch fire. Place candles away from drapes, bedding, carpets, books, paper, flammable decorations, etc.
- Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets. Don’t place lighted candles where they might be knocked over by children or pets.
- Trim candlewicks to ¼ inch each time before burning. Long or crooked wicks cause uneven burning and dripping.
- Always use a candleholder specifically designed for candle use. The holder should be heat resistant, sturdy and large enough to contain drips or melted wax.
- Be sure candleholder is placed on a stable, heat-resistant surface. This will also help prevent possible heat damage to underlying surfaces and prevent glass containers from cracking or breaking.
- Keep the wax pool free of wick trimmings, matches and debris at all times.
- Always read and follow the manufacturer's use and safety instructions carefully.
- Don’t burn a candle longer than the manufacturer recommends.
- Keep burning candles away from drafts, vents, ceiling fans and air currents. This will help prevent rapid, uneven burning, wax dripping and avoid flame flare-ups and sooting.
- Drafts can also blow lightweight curtains or papers into the flame where they could catch fire.
- Don't burn a candle all the way down.
- Extinguish the flame if it comes too close to the holder or container. For a margin of safety, discontinue burning a candle when 2 inches of wax remains or ½ inch if in a container.
- Never touch or move a burning candle when the wax is liquid.
- Never use a knife or sharp object to remove wax drippings from a glass holder. It might scratch, weaken, or cause the glass to break upon subsequent use.
- Place burning candles at least three inches apart. This ensures they won't melt one another, or create drafts that can cause the candles to flare.
- Use a snuffer to extinguish a candle. It's the safest way to prevent hot wax splatters.
- Never extinguish candles with water. The water can cause the hot wax to splatter and might cause a glass container to break.
- Be very careful if using candles during a power outage. Flashlights and other battery-powered lights are safer sources of light during a power failure.
- Make sure a candle is completely extinguished and the wick is no longer glowing before leaving the room.
- Extinguish a candle if it flickers repeatedly, smokes, or the flame becomes too high. The candle isn't burning properly. Let it cool, trim the wick, check for drafts and then re-light.
- Never use a candle as a night light.
© The National Candle Association (NCA)