With the holidays approaching and the increased usage of seasonal decorations, it is important to focus on candle fire safety and prevention, fire chiefs are warning.

And because the majority of candle fires result from human error and negligence, candle fires and their associated casualties are preventable. The U.S. Fire Administration advises:

If possible, avoid using lighted candles.

If they must be used, ensure they are placed in sturdy holders.

Keep candles away from children and pets.

Extinguish candles after each use.

Never put candles on a Christmas tree.

Never leave burning candles unattended.

 

By following a few candle fire safety tips, everyone can enjoy a safe and happy holiday season.

Causes and circumstances of home candle fires

On average, one home candle fire is reported every 34 minutes.

More than half of all candle fires start when something that could burn, such as furniture, mattresses or bedding, curtains, or decorations is too close to the candle.

In 20 percent of candle fires, the candles are unattended or abandoned.

Almost two-fifths of home candle fires begin in the bedroom.

Falling asleep is a factor in 12 percent of home candle fires and 26 percent of the associated deaths.

December is the peak time of year for home candle fires. In December, 13 percent of home candle fires begin with decorations compared to 4 percent the rest of the year.

One-half of home candle fire deaths occur between midnight and 6 a.m.

Young children and older adults have the highest death risk from candle fires.

The risk of fatal candle fires appears higher when candles are used for light.

 

In the event of a fire,  time is the biggest enemy and every second counts!

Escape first, and then call for help. Develop a home fire escape plan and practice it frequently with your family. Designate a meeting place outside. Make sure everyone in the family knows two ways to escape from every room.

Never stand up in a fire, always crawl low under the smoke, and try to keep the mouth covered. Never return to a burning building for any reason.

Having a working smoke alarm dramatically increases the chances of surviving a fire.