Roughly one in four fires starts with a naked flame. Follow our advice and avoid the most common safety mistakes when using candles.
Candles and flammable materials are a dangerous combination. Moss, driftwood, twigs, cones, twine and other dry natural materials catch fire quickly and burn well. This is why you should never put candles near decorations made from these kinds of materials. If you want to use candles for table decoration, it’s a better idea to put them in a glass or well-ventilated lantern. This will ensure that the candle is steady and will not come into contact with flammable materials.
If you want to make your own candlesticks and candle decorations, make sure the candle is steady and the materials cannot catch fire. Fireproof materials include metal, porcelain, sand or stone. Never stand a lit candle directly on a tablecloth, wooden board or anything else that could catch fire.
If you want to light several candles, make sure they aren’t standing too close together. A distance of around 10 centimetres is enough to ensure that the candles will not start to melt each other. The same also applies to tealights. If you put several tealights next to each other, the wax in the lights can become overheated and run out, which could cause the tealights to flare up to dangerous levels.
Lanterns, glasses and figures designed to hold candles must also be well ventilated. Otherwise, the wax may become too hot and catch fire.
Candles can burn down faster than you think because of draughts or impurities. Candleholders can also crack and cause a candle to tip over. A fire can get out of control very quickly. That’s why it’s so important never to leave a room in which there is a lighted candle, so that you are always on hand to spot a dangerous situation quickly.