Valentine’s Day Candles Should Be Handled with Care
- Posted on: 02/12/2021
Fire Marshal Cautions that Candles Can Pose a Home Safety Fire Hazard
TRENTON, NJ – Valentine’s Day has achieved a deeper meaning as we fight a global pandemic and people are placing an even greater emphasis on expressions of love and appreciation for one another. While greeting cards and flowers traditionally serve that purpose on Valentine’s Day, candles are also frequently used and should be handled with the utmost attention and caution.
“Governor Murphy and I hope that everyone has a happy Valentine’s Day and that you have the good fortune to celebrate with your loved ones. We are urging residents to use extreme caution when burning candles so that everyone can enjoy the holiday safely at home,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs.
The National Fire Protection Association cites that from 2014 through 2018 an average of 7,600 home fires were started by candle use, adding that candles were the leading cause of bedroom fires and the fourth leading cause of living room fires.
“As we do with other traditions associated with holidays, we want to call attention to the fact that a live, burning candle is an open source of flame and as such poses a home fire safety hazard, if not properly monitored,” said Richard Mikutsky, New Jersey Division of Fire Safety Director and State Fire Marshal.
Fire Marshal Mikutsky notes that LED battery operated candles present an attractive alternative and recommends taking the following steps to possibly avoid the unforeseen consequences of candle use:
- Keep candles at least 12 inches from anything that can burn.
- Use candle holders that are sturdy and won’t tip over easily.
- Put candle holders on a sturdy, uncluttered surface.
- Blow out all candles before you leave a room or go to bed.
- Never leave children alone in a room with a burning candle.
- Light candles carefully.
- Keep your hair and any loose clothing away from the flame.
- Don’t burn a candle all the way down — put it out before it gets too close to the holder or container.
- Avoid the use of candles in the bedroom and other areas where people may fall asleep.
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The Division of Fire Safety serves as the central fire service agency in the State. The Division is responsible for the development and enforcement of the State Uniform Fire Code, as well as for implementing community risk reduction and firefighter training programs.
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