Firefighters in West Sussex are asking people to snuff out the fire risk in their homes this Candle Fire Safety Week (November 17th-23rd).
With the days growing darker and winter setting in, a few candles or tea lights scattered round the room can lend a warm glow or create a relaxed atmosphere in your home. But with candle fires resulting in around 350 casualties each year and nearly 40% of fires started by candles resulting in death or injury, West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is asking people to take extra care with candles this winter.
Jackie Boyle, Community Fire Safety Officer for West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, said: “Candles are a typical sight in many homes, scenting our rooms and giving an atmospheric glow to cold winter nights. But it’s important to remember that a candle is not just a decorative feature. Left unattended, an open flame could leave a trail of devastation.
“It’s so important to think about where you are placing your lit candles; they should always be away from curtains and out of the reach of pets and children. Most importantly, remember to extinguish your candles if you leave the room, even if it’s only for a moment – it only takes a moment for a fire to start.
“Even with these precautions it’s important to be prepared should the worst happen. A working smoke alarm can give you the vital time you need to get out, stay out and call 999. Keep yourself and your loved ones safe by testing your alarm regularly and practising your escape routes.”
To help you enjoy your candles safely, West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service offers this easy to follow advice:
. Never leave a burning candle unattended
. Place candles carefully. Make sure they are on a stable surface, out of the reach of pets and children, and keep them away from flammable objects like curtains, furniture, bedding or books
. Don’t move candles once they are lit
. Don’t burn several candles close together as this might cause the flame to flare
. Never put tea lights on top of TV sets or other plastic surrounds like baths
. Always put scented candles in a heat resistant holder. These candles are designed to liquefy when heated to maximise fragrance
. Test It Tuesday! Working smoke alarms save lives – so test yours each week
Picture: Shows the damage caused by a tea light placed on a bath