Candle Safety Tips:

Candles are safe products, but may become hazardous when used improperly or in an unsafe manner. National fire safety agencies report that the bulk of candle fire incidents in the United States are due to consumer inattention to basic fire safety or to the misuse of candles. We recommend the following safety tips when burning candles:

  • Lighted candles should always be within sight. Never leave a burning candle unattended. Extinguish all candles when leaving a room or before going to sleep.

  • Never burn a candle on or near anything that can catch fire. Keep burning candles away from furniture, drapes, bedding, carpets, books, paper, flammable decorations, etc.

  • Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets. Do not place lighted candles where they can be knocked over by children, pets or anyone else.

  • Read and follow all manufacturer instructions carefully.

  • Trim the wick to ¼ inch each time before burning. Long or crooked wicks cause uneven burning and dripping.

  • Always use an appropriate candleholder placed on a stable, heat-resistant surface.

  • Keep burning candles away from drafts, vents and air currents. This will help prevent prevent rapid, uneven burning, smoking and excessive dripping. Drafts can also blow lightweight curtains or papers into the flame where they could catch fire. Ceiling fans can cause drafts.

  • Extinguish a candle if it smokes, flickers repeatedly, or the flame becomes too high. Cool, trim wick, check for drafts, and re-light.

  • Keep the wax pool free of wick trimmings, matches and debris at all times.

  • Do not burn a candle for longer than the manufacturer recommends.

  • Always burn candles in a well-ventilated room.

  • Extinguish the flame if it comes too close to the holder or container. For a margin of safety, discontinue burning a candle when 2 inches of wax remains (1/2 inch if in a container). This will also help prevent possible heat damage to the counter/surface and prevent glass containers from cracking or breaking.

  • Never touch or move a votive or container candle when the wax is liquid.

  • Extinguish pillar candles if the wax pool approaches the outer edge.

  • Place lighted candles at least 3 inches apart from one another.

  • One of the safest ways to extinguish a candle is to use a candle snuffer, which helps prevent hot wax from spattering

  • Do not extinguish candles with water. The water can cause the hot wax to spatter and can cause glass containers to break.

  • Flashlights and other battery-powered lights are much safer light sources than candles during a power failure.

  • Never use a candle as light when you go into a closet to look for things.

  • Never use a candle for light when fueling equipment such as a lantern or kerosene heater.

Burning Tips:

  • Read and follow all manufacturer instructions carefully.

  • Never burn a candle on or near anything that can catch fire. Keep burning candles away from furniture, drapes, bedding, carpets, books, paper, flammable decorations, etc.

  • Burn your pillar candle one hour for every inch of its diameter the first time you light it. This will allow the pool of wax to extend to the outside rim and prevent your candle from forming a "canyon" in its center.

  • Votive candles are made to liquefy during burning and should be used in a container that matches the size of the candle. If burned without a container, a votive candle will drip.

  • Trim the wick of any candle to ¼ inch each time before burning. Long or crooked wicks cause uneven burning and dripping. This will ensure clean, smoke-free burning.

  • Burning candles close to one another can change the length and quality of the burn time.

  • Burn candles away from drafts that can cause them to burn unevenly, drip and smoke.

  • Wrap a candle in aluminum foil and place it in the refrigerator one hour before burning and it will last longer. (Wrapping it protects the wick from absorbing moisture!)

  • Always remove labels from the bottom before using votive candles.

  • Never straighten the wick when relighting a taper candle.

  • When burned inside candle lamps, tapers may drip because of the heat generated inside the glass. To avoid excessive dripping, place a penny under one side of the glass globe to give the candle proper ventilation.

  • Blowing out candles can spray wax and affect the wick. “Snuffing” out a wick is best. The most effective way to extinguish the flame of a candle is to use a candle snuffer. The snuffer helps prevent the wax from spraying, and keeps the wick centered as well.

Candle Use and Storage Tips:

  • To guard your candles against fading, avoid placing them in direct sunlight.

  • Store your candles in a cool, dry place. Bright light can fade candle colors and hot temperatures can melt the wax causing your candles to lean. Tapers should lie flat when stored.

  • Clean solid candles with a piece of nylon or a dry or damp soft cloth.

  • Always store candles in a cool, dark, dry place. Tapers and dinner candles should be stored flat to prevent warping.

  • Remove wax from holders by running very hot water over them. Alternatively, some individuals suggest placing the candle holder in the freezer. This will allow the wax to shrink and easily pop off when the candle holder is removed from the freezer.

  • Never use a knife or a sharp object to remove wax drippings from a glass holder; it might scratch, weaken, or cause the glass to break upon subsequent use.

  • Votive candles will clean easily if you add a few drops of water to the glass before inserting the candle. Caution: Do not add more than a few drops and do not add water unless you intend to burn the candle immediately afterward. Over time, a candle wick could absorb the water and no longer burn properly.

© The National Candle Association (NCA)