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With the Holidays just around the corner, candles are a popular
way to celebrate and decorate in our homes. Candles are also
the cause of many residential structure fires. Candles
are generally safe products, but may become hazardous when
used improperly or in an unsafe manner. National fire safety
agencies report that the bulk of candle fire incidents in
the United States are due to consumer inattention to basic
fire safety or to the misuse of candles.
The Valley Center Fire Protection District recommends the
following safety tips when
Read and carefully follow all manufacturer instructions.
Trim candlewicks to 1/4 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 any drips or melted wax. Be sure the
candleholder is placed on a stable, heat-resistant surface.
Always keep a burning candle within your sight. Extinguish
all candles when you leave a
room or before going to sleep.
Never burn a candle on or near anything that can catch
fire. Keep burning candles away from furniture, drapes, bedding,
carpets, books, paper, flammable decorations, etc.
Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.
Do not place lighted candles where they can be knocked over
by children, pets or anyone else.
Keep burning candles away from drafts, vents and air
currents. This will help prevent rapid, uneven burning, smoking
and excessive dripping. Drafts can also blow lightweight curtains
or papers into the flame where they could catch fire. Ceiling
fans can cause drafts.
Keep the wax pool free of wick trimmings, matches and
debris at all times.
Do not burn a candle for longer than the manufacturer
Always burn candles in a well-ventilated room.
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 remain (1/2 inch if in a container).
This will also help prevent possible heat damage to the counter/surface
and prevent glass containers from cracking or breaking.
Never touch or move a votive or container candle when
the wax is liquid.
Extinguish pillar candles if the wax pool approaches
the outer edge.
Candles should be placed at least three inches apart
from one another. This is to be sure that they don't melt
one another, or create their own drafts that will cause the
candles to burn improperly.
One of the safest ways to extinguish a candle is to
use a candle snuffer, which helps prevent hot wax from spattering.
A Christmas tree, even one treated to be flame-retardant, is
capable of burning
explosively, spreading the fire throughout your home quickly.
Taking proper care of
your Christmas tree, however, will help prevent this tragedy
from happening to you.
Choose Your Tree Carefully!
A live tree which can be planted after Christmas will
be more likely to stay fresh throughout the season than a cut
tree. Choose a healthy one and water it moderately while it
is in the house.
When choosing a cut tree, look for freshness; the needles
should be difficult to pull from the branches and shouldnt
break when bent between your fingers.
If purchasing an artificial tree, choose one that is
labeled fire resistant.
Consider Where You are Placing Your Tree and Furniture!
Position the tree away from fireplaces, heat registers,
direct sunlight, and other sources of heat that can cause the
tree to dry out prematurely or even ignite it.
If rearranging furniture to make room for the tree, maintain
clearance from sources of heat and maintaining safe exit ways
Keep Your Cut Tree Fresh!
Once home, spray the tree with water to remove dead
needles and dust, then cut 2 off the base and immerse
the cut end into water immediately.
Place the tree in a sturdy stand, capable of holding
a large amount of water.
Check the water in the tree stand often. An average
tree can consume a quart to a gallon of water every day.
Do not allow the water level to drop below the base
of the tree or pores will seal again, preventing water absorption.
If pouring water in the basin is difficult, add ice cubes
Decorate the Tree Safely!
Decorate the tree with UL approved miniature lights
rather than the larger ones to prevent heat build up and lessen
drying effects. NEVER use real candles on a tree.
Inspect used lights carefully for frayed wires, broken
sockets, or signs of wear and discard if damage is observed.
Use only UL listed lights and other electrical items
and limit to no more that 3 strands or items per outlet.
Turn off or unplug Christmas tree and exterior lights
before leaving the house or going to bed.
Remove the tree from the house promptly.
Never burn a Christmas tree in the fireplace or woodstove.
Recycle your Christmas tree.