State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey announced that Monday, December 10, 2018 will be Candle Safety Day and advised consumers to use candles safely during this holiday season and throughout the year. The second Monday in December has been established as Candle Safety Day by MGL C.6: S.12XX to promote the safe use of candles in the Commonwealth.
More Candle Fires Happen During Winter Holidays
State Fire Marshal Ostroskey said, “Starting with Halloween, we use candles to celebrate many of the winter holidays. Sadly, the increased candle use at this time of year causes an increase in candle fires.” In the past five years, more candle fires happened between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve than at any other time of the year.
Burn Candles Inside a 1-Foot Circle of Safety
State Fire Marshal Ostroskey recommends that in order to reduce the risk of fire, burn candles inside a 1-foot Circle of Safety, and offers these safety tips:
Switch to Flameless Candles
To be safe, consider using flameless candles in your home. Have flashlights and battery-powered lighting ready to use during a power outage instead of traditional candles.
1/3 of Candle Fires in Homes Occurred in the Bedroom
In 2017, candles caused 91 fires, five civilian injuries, one firefighter injury and an estimated dollar loss of $1.9 million in damages. Of the 66 candle fires in homes, one-third occurred in the bedroom. It is all too easy to fall asleep and leave a candle burning unattended. “Remember to blow out candles before leaving a room or going to bed,” said State Fire Marshal Ostroskey. Candle fires have dropped 73% since they peaked at 342 in 1999. “Although candle fires are decreasing, we must continue to practice safe candle use,” he added.
No Fatal Candle Fires in 2017
There were no fatal candle fires in 2017. However there were eight civilian deaths in eight candle fires between 2013 and 2016.