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Hanford Fire Department

Candles are a part of many people’s lives as we approach the colder months and the holidays, but we must remember that a candle is an open flame and it can easily ignite any combustible material nearby. December is the peak time of the year for fires related to candles. Most fires related to candles occur because they are left too close to combustible materials or they are left unattended. One of the most common areas that candle fires start is in the bedroom so follow these tips to prevent a candle fire from occurring in your home:

  • Extinguish all candles when leaving the room or going to sleep.
  • Keep candles out of the reach of children or pets.
  • Never allow children to play with candles, matches, or lighters.
  • Never put candles on a Christmas tree.
  • Keep candles away from items that can catch fire, like clothing, books and curtains.
  • Use candle holders that are sturdy, won’t tip over easily, are made from a material that cannot burn, and are large enough to collect dripping wax.
  • 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 to within two inches of the holder. Votives and containers should be extinguished before the last half-inch of wax starts to melt.
  • During power outages, avoid carrying a lit candle. Use flashlights.
  • Never leave a burning candle unattended.

Safety reminder: Test all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms in your home.

Fire Safety Tips are prepared by Fire Captain Matthew Rowe of the Hanford Fire Department. Become a fan of the HFD by clicking “like” at the HFD on Twitter at

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