When the weather outside gets cold and icy, a fire can be quite inviting. For many, the scent of candles brings warmth to the holidays. As the tiny flames dance on top of the candlestick, it’s easy to forget how dangerous a fire can be. Under the right conditions, a rogue spark can burn down a room or even engulf an entire house!

Fortunately, homeowners can take precautionary steps to make it difficult for flames to get their feet on the ground and run wild.

Candle Fire Safety

Never leave a candle unattended in your home. You hear this all the time, but think about how often you—let alone your eyes—wander away from a lit candle. Keep candles in highly visible locations. They’re meant to be seen and not left in lonely guest bathrooms.

Don’t let the candle burn for too long. The wax will eventually melt as the fire trickles down. The wick can set fire near wherever the candle was placed. Feeling tired? Extinguish the flames.

Use sturdy candleholders. Long, slim candleholders look elegant, but they are easy to tip over by wayward dogs and children bumping into furniture. Maybe Uncle Joe forgets it’s there when he goes for an extra helping of egg nog.

Do not place candles near windows and doorways. This is an important tip that many people don’t think about. If you place a candle anywhere a draft can affect the flame, your home is in jeopardy. These things happen fast. Think very, very carefully before setting your candle.

Place candles at least 12 inches away from anything that burns. And when it’s time to blow it out, be careful not to splatter hot wax.

Portable Heaters Fire Safety

Portable heaters help warm up a space, but they’re served with a side of hazard. Just like open flames, portable heaters are a fire risk. Many safety experts don’t recommend space heaters, but if you choose to use one, carefully read the manual to properly install and maintain your portable heater. Proper placement is the key to heater safety:

  • Place the heater at least 3 ½ feet away from anything in the room, especially other furniture or flammable materials.
  • Keep children & pets well away from any space heaters.
  • Always make sure someone is in the room when a portable heater is in use.
  • When purchasing a space heater, make sure the device will automatically shut off when tipped over—then test this feature. 

For more Fire Safety Tips, visit our Information Center to download a printable guide.