Candle Safety

Candles set a cozy mood for the holidays -- but they can easily start a fire if you're not careful.

The number of candle-related house fires nearly doubles in the month of December, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Don't be one of those houses. Be sure to follow these safety tips.

  • Lock up all matches and lighters after lighting candles. About three out of five fires started by children happen when they play with matches and lighters.
  • Place candles where kids and pets can't reach them and at least one foot away from Christmas trees, curtains, wreaths, and holiday decorations. Don't leave them near air vents, open windows, or ceiling fans.
  • Never leave a lit candle unattended. Even if you're leaving the room for just a few minutes, blow it out.
  • Use candle holders that are sturdy, won't tip over easily, and made from nonflammable material.
  • Make sure smoke alarms are installed and working, and teach your children to exit the house as quickly as possible if they see a fire.

Copyright © 2007. Used with permission from the December 2007 issue of Parents magazine.

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