During 1999, an estimated 15,040 home fires started by candles were reported to public fire departments.
These fires resulted in an estimated 102 civilian deaths. 1,473 civilian injuries and an estimated direct
property loss of $278 million.
Facts and Figures
Two-fifths (40%) of the home candle fires started in the bedroom.
Over the last decade, candle fires have almost tripled from the 5,460 reported in 1990.
December had almost twice the number of home candle fires of an average month.
Thirty-eight percent of candle fires occurred after the candles were left unattended, abandoned or
inadequately controlled; Twenty-three percent occurred when someone form of combustible material
was left or came too close to the candle; Eight percent were started by people (usually children)
playing with the candle, Thirteen percent started after the candle user fell asleep.
Keep candles up high and out of reach of children.
Never leave a child unattended in a room with a candle. A child should not sleep in a room with a
Don’t allow children or teens to have candles in their bedrooms.
Store candles, matches and lighters up high and out of children’s sight and reach, preferably in a
Candles and Children
Extinguish all candles when leaving the room or going to sleep.
Keep candles away from items that can catch fire (e.g. clothing, books, paper, curtains, Christmas
trees, flammable decorations).
Use candle holders that are sturdy, won’t tip over easily, are made from a material that can’t burn
and are large enough to collect dripping wax.
Don’t place lit candles in windows, where blinds and curtains can close over them.
Place candle holders on a sturdy, uncluttered surface and do not use candles in places where they
could be knocked over by children or pets.
Keep candles and all open flames away from flammable liquids.
Keep candle wicks trimmed to one-quarter inch and extinguish taper and pillar candles when they
get within two inches of the holder