Burning holiday candles safely

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 13, 2003

Suffolk Fire Marshal A.G. Barrett offered the following suggestions for the safe use of holiday candles:

— Use candles only in rooms where there is a responsible adult awake to control and oversee the flame.

— Keep candles away from items that can catch fire, such as clothing, books, papers, Christmas trees, decorations, window blinds and curtains.

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— Keep candles away from high-traffic locations where they can be easily knocked over or areas accessible to children or pets.

— Place candles on stable surfaces in sturdy holders that grip the candle securely and won’t tip over.

— Place candles in candle holders that can’t burn and are big enough to collect dripping wax.

— Extinguish taper and pillar candles when they burn to within two inches of the holder, and votive and container candles before the last half-inch of wax begins to melt.

— Avoid candles with combustible items embedded in them.

— Use extreme caution if you carry a lit candle, holding it well away from clothing and any combustibles that may be near the path along which you walk, and avoid loose, flowing clothing that is not flame-resistant.