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Candle Safety 101

Written by Casey Shearns on . Posted in .

Candles can be considered essential to the cozy, New England wintertime aesthetic. As you unwind after a long, cold day, light your candles, and allow the aroma to fill your home. Sounds picturesque, doesn’t it? Though candles are a way of calming and relaxing, it is still an open flame inside of your home when it comes down to the technical side of things. Did you know that according to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), just about 3% of all reported home fires are from candles, resulting in an estimated 14 billion dollars in property damage every year! 

Follow along as the fire and smoke remediation specialists at Soil-Away go over candle safety 101, so you can enjoy your candles safely and with peace of mind. 

Before Lighting Your Candle:

Trim Your Wick

According to Insider.com, it is important to trim the wick of a new candle up to ½ an inch to avoid flaring and uneven burning. If you are lighting a candle that has been used before, you should continue to trim your wick before each use. When the wick is too thick or tall, it causes your candle’s flame to become enlarged and can cause soot to form around the flame. The wick of your candle should never be longer than ¼ of an inch. 


When placing candles around your home, make sure their resting place is not close to any vents or possible drafts. Always make sure that a lit candle is set at least one foot away from anything that could possibly catch on fire, such as drapes or curtains. Lastly, always ensure that the surface your candle is sitting on is completely flat to avoid any chance of tipping over. 

While Your Candle is Burning:

Keep an Eye 

While you have a candle burning inside your home, never leave it completely unattended. It is in your best interest to stay in the same room as the lit candle and ensure that it is out of reach from pets and children, regardless of whether you are in the same room. 

Stay in Place

Once your candle is lit, be sure to keep it in the same spot throughout the whole burn time. Never pick up or move a burning candle to avoid spilling hot wax and an uneven candle. 

Extinguishing Your Candle:

When to Stop Burning

Once your candle has melted down to about ¼ of an inch, it is not safe to continue burning. Make sure never to burn your candle all the way down. 

How to Stop the Flame

The safest way to extinguish your candle is with a candle snuffer if you have one available. If you do not have one, blow out your candle from a safe distance away. Before leaving your extinguished candle, make sure that it is entirely out and there are no embers left. Be sure to let the candle wax cool completely before you touch or move it. 

Soil-Away Fire and Smoke Remediation Specialists

If you have been a victim of a candle fire or any other kind of fire or smoke damage in your home, make sure to call the expert remediation team at Soil-Away as soon as possible! Give us a call today or fill out our online contact form for more information. 

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