As part of the Fire Kills campaign, Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) is calling for people to take care this Candle Fire Safety Week (23-29 October) and snuff out the risk of fire in their homes.

With winter fast approaching, a few candles scattered around the room can create warm glow or add some festive cheer to the season’s celebrations such as Bonfire Night and Christmas. But with candle fires resulting in around 300 casualties each year, AF&RS are asking people to take extra care with candles this winter. Around a third of all fires started by candles attended by fire and rescue services result in injuries or death.

Prevention Manager Nikki Rice said: “Candles are a typical sight in many homes, scenting our rooms and giving an atmospheric glow to cold winter nights. But it’s important to remember that a candle is not just a decorative feature. Left unattended, an open flame in your home could leave a trail of devastation.

“Place your lit candles with extra care, away from curtains, pets and children and always remember to put them out when you leave the room, even for a moment.”

“Even with these precautions it’s vital to be prepared should the worst happen. Working smoke alarms can give you the vital time you need to get out, stay out and call 999. Keep yourself and your loved ones safe by testing your alarm regularly and by practicing your escape routes.”

To enjoy candles safely this winter, AF&RS say you should:

  • Where possible, opt for LED candles. They are reusable and do not carry the same fire risks as traditional candles.
  • Never leave lit candles unattended. Put burning candles out when you leave the room, and make sure they’re out completely at night.
  • Place your candles carefully. Make sure they are on a stable surface, out of the reach of pets and children, and keep them away from flammable objects like curtains, furniture, bedding and books.
  • Never move candles once they are lit
  • Avoid burning several candles close together as this might cause the flame to flare
  • 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 put scented candles in a heat-resistant holder. These candles are designed to liquefy when heated to maximise fragrance.
  • Fit smoke alarms and test them now and monthly. A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999.
  • Make sure that everyone in your home knows what to do if a fire should occur– practise your escape route.

For more home fire safety advice, use the free home fire safety checker today.