By: Mary OHara

LocalNet360- The top five days of the years for home candle fires are
Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, New Years Day, and Halloween. Increased diligence during these special times with family and friends will save you years of loss and heartache.

Candles cause an estimated 15,600 fires in residential structures, 150 deaths, 1,270 injuries, and $539 million in estimated direct property damage each year. December is the peak month of year for home candle fires and Christmas is the peak day of the year for candle fires.
• Over half (55%) of home candle fires start because the candle is too close to some combustible material.
• Mattresses, bedding, curtains, decorations are the most frequent source of candle fires due to their proximity to lit candle.
• More candle fires (38%) begin in the bedroom than in any other room.
• Falling asleep is a factor in 12% of home candle fires and 26% of the associated deaths.
• Half of deaths due to candle fire occur between Midnight and 6am.
• Young children and older adults have the highest death risk from candle fires.
• The risk of a fatal candle fire appears higher when candles are used for light.

The major safety tips for preventing candle fires are:

• If you do use candles, ensure they are in sturdy metal, glass, or ceramic holders and placed where they cannot be easily knocked down.
• Never leave the house with candles burning.
• Extinguish candles after use.
• NEVER leave burning candles unattended.
• Never put candles on a Christmas tree.
• Never allow your children to light candles even when you are present. Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.
• Children should never be allowed to play with matches, lighters or candles.
• While burning a candle follow these suggestions:
o Never touch or move a burning candle. Never move a votive or container candle when the wax is liquefied.
o Don't burn a candle all the way down; stop burning a candle when 2 inches of wax remains (1/2 inch if in a container).
o Extinguish a candle if the flame becomes too high or flickers repeatedly. Let the candle cool, trim the wick, and check for unwanted drafts before re-lighting.
o Always keep the candle within your sight. If you are going to leave the room, be sure to first blow out all candles.
• Never use candles in bedrooms or sleeping area.
• Always use a flashlight, rather than a candle, for emergency lighting. Never splatter wax when extinguishing a candle.
• Establish a fire-safe home, especially a safe sleeping environment.

Most importantly, wonderful alternatives to candles are now available. Most major retail and home stores have flameless candles that are a beautiful option!

As you begin to learn about the dangers and prevention pertaining to Fire, Water and Mold damage in your home or business, you will better understand what steps to take to protect your family, employees, pets, personal belongings, business records, equipment, building structure, landscaping and surrounding areas. More importantly, in addition to knowing what steps you can take to aide in prevention, many of these same techniques will help you to mitigate risks in case of an emergency related to fire, water or mold damages should they happen to you. As stated earlier in this series, the more you know about the dangers of Fire, Water and Mold, the better prepared you will be when disaster strikes and in addition to mitigating risks, you may one day help save the life of someone you love as well as yourself, because disaster can strike anyone, anywhere at any time and it is up to you to gain the knowledge to protect your family, home and business and know when to call the professionals who can only respond after the emergency strikes.

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Mary O'Hara holds a Masters of Public Health and has numerous certifications in mold remediation, fire restoration, lead remediation, and fire damage restoration. She spent 25 years as a health care executive with leading health care organizations in Minneapolis, Seattle, St Louis, and Tampa. For more information on Mold testing and/or remediation Services please visit or please visit or call: Call: toll free (855) Fire-Damage (347-3326).

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