Candle Safety

Page updated on: 21/12/2021

Candle Safety


Candles mark special occasions and create a special atmosphere. They also bring fire into your home. So treat them carefully.
If you are going to use a candle or oil burner, please use them in the safest possible way. Here are some tips:

Always:

  • Always place candles /oil burners on a stable, heat resistant surface.
  • Night lights and tea lights can melt plastic surfaces like TV tops and bathtubs. They must always be placed away from soft furnishings and on a non-flammable surface such as a plate or tile – wherever possible a proper candle / incense holder should be used.
  • Always put scented candles in a heat resistant holder. Scented candles are designed to liquefy when heated to maximise fragrance.
  • Always burn candles in a well-ventilated room, out of drafts, vents or air currents. This will help prevent rapid or uneven burning, soot, and dripping.
  • Always, keep them away from draughts and anything that can easily catch fire like furniture or curtains.
  • If you’re going out, put it out. Never leave lit candles unattended. Put burning candles out when you leave the room, and make sure they’re out completely once you have finished with them.
  • Keep candles out of the reach of children who may want to play with them and out of the reach of any animals who may knock them over.
  • Use a ‘snuffer’ or a spoon to put out candles. It’s safer than blowing them out, which can send sparks and hot wax flying.
  • Make sure that everyone in your home knows what to do if a fire should occur– practise your escape route.
  • Always have working smoke alarms fitted throughout your home and test them regularly. 

Never:

  • Do not burn several candles close together as this might cause the flame to flare.
  • Always leave at least 10cm (4”) between two burning candles.
  • Don’t let anything fall into hot wax. Broken bits of matches etc. can act as a second wick and significantly increase the flame height and temperature.
  • Never light candles, burners or cigarettes when you are tired or sleepy.
  • Don’t move candles once they are lit.
  • Don’t lean across candles - you could set fire to your clothes.
  • Never allow an oil-burner to boil dry. Depending on the type of burner, it could break - or even catch fire in some cases.
  • Never leave lit candles unattended. Put burning candles out when you leave the room, and make sure they’re out completely once you have finished with them. If you're going out, put it out.
  • Candle Safety - Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service (mawwfire.gov.uk)