Candles provide festive decor for the holiday season. They are part of worship ceremonies. They can scent the air with mood-enhancing aromas. And if the power goes out, candles may become an alternative to electric lights.
However, home fires caused by candles continue to be an issue. Outside the holiday season, candle fires most often start in the bedroom. Scented candles may be used to create a romantic or relaxing environment. Predictably, people fall asleep while the candle continues to burn. All too often, the flame ignites a mattress or bedding so it's best to keep candles out of all bedrooms. In the case of power outage, keep flashlights on hand.
The most common scenario is that the flame ignites something nearby, perhaps when the candle is knocked over or burns too low. If someone can put the fire out immediately, there may only be damage to the surrounding area. However, if a fire starts when no one is in the room — or awake — a major disaster is likely.
Are any types of candles more dangerous than others?
Yes! Candles with multiple wicks can produce high flames and intense heat. As well, candles with flammable decorations embedded in them, or as part of a decorative arrangement.