HSE: Candlelight

For most of us, Christmas without candles is unthinkable! It is common knowledge that you do not leave lit candles unattended, but it is also important to remember to follow some basic principles when you are at home.

Here is some good advice from the Norwegian Fire Protection Association regarding burning candles.

1. Never leave a burning candle unattended

Blow out all candles when leaving a room or before going to sleep. Be sure the candle wick is no longer glowing. At festive occasions where there is alcohol involved, please make sure that there is at least one person sober enough to remember to blow out the candles when the party is over.

2. Never burn a candle on or near anything that may catch fire

Keep burning candles away from furniture, drapes, bedding, carpets, books, paper, flammable decorations, etc. Please keep in mind the distance to curtains as gusts from the window may affect nearby lightweight items so they come in contact with the candle and catch fire.

3. Ensure that candles are placed on a firm surface

Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets. Do not place lit candles where they can be knocked over by anyone.

4. Never use flammable candle holders or candle cuffs

Always use a candleholder specifically designed for candle use. The holder should be heat resistant, sturdy, and large enough to contain any drips of melted wax. Christmas decorations consisting of flammable material should never be used in combination with lit candles.

5. Regarding the use of tealight candles

Do not place tealight candles directly on material such as a table or tablecloth. Instead use something that can withstand high temperatures. A suitable tealight-holder is open and provides good ventilation. Never use water to extinguish a lit candle. Water can cause the hot wax to splatter and might break a glass container. Use a candle snuffer to extinguish a candle. It’s the safest way to prevent hot wax from splattering.

A rule of thumb is that the person lighting the candles, is also responsible for blowing them out!

We wish you a fire-safe Christmas!