Materials most easily ignited by
Mattesses and bedding
Curtains and Drapes
Interior Wall Coverings
Newspapers and Writing Paper
Rugs and other Floor Coverings
A paraffin candle sometimes has lead in the wick's core,
which you can spot by looking for a thin wire in the
center of the cotton wick. Lead matter is emitted when the
candle burns. This is distressing news in light of the
fact that 100 percent of lead inhaled from candlewicks is
absorbed into the bloodstream.
The Journal of the American Medical
Association suggests that families exposed to candles with
metallic wicks should have their blood-lead levels
Children are particularly vulnerable to
lead poisoning. Chronic low-level exposure can produce
permanent neuro-psychological defects and behavior
disorders, including low IQ, short attention span,
hyperactive behavior and motor difficulties. As for
adults, early signs of poisoning include gastrointestinal
problems, muscle pains and weakness, irritability,
excessive thirst, headache, insomnia, depression and
lethargy. People with asthma or lung or heart diseases are
especially susceptible because even small amounts of lead
particles can aggravate their condition.
Candles are enjoyable, calming and fragrant, but don't ever forget that when you burn them, you are dealing with fire. Always take proper precautions to prevent your enjoyable experience from turning into a
The number of home fires started by candles has
increased dramatically in the last ten years. According to
the National Fire Prevention Association the number of fires caused
by candles in homes throughout the country increased from 5,460 in
1990 to 11,600 in 1997 - the most recent year for which data are
available. Ironically this increase occurred during a period
in which home fires in general are on the decline. U. S.
consumers spent over $2.3 billion on candles during the year
2000. Since the candle-making industry has grown (and
continues to grow) at a rate of about 10 to 15% annually,
opportunities for home fires will increase even further unless
consumers become more aware of the potential for danger that
candles pose if they are not used in accordance with established
Most of these candle-caused fires started when
lit candles were left unattended, or because some form of
combustible material was left too close to the candle, or because
children were playing with the candles or something flammable near
the candles. Five percent of home candle fires started when
the occupant fell asleep while the candle was burning.
Almost half of all candle fires start in the bedroom.
Last modified: June 30, 2004
The Bureau of Fire Prevention and Department of Fire offers the following advice for using candles safely:
Position candles well away from flammable objects and materials, and well away from any possible contact by pets or children.
Don't put lit candles in windows, where blinds or curtains can
close over them.
candles and all open flames away from flammable liquids.
Place candles on heat-resistant surfaces which will not transmit heat to the furniture on which they are placed. Ceramics work well for this purpose. Candles should also be placed in heat-resistant bowls that will catch dripping wax, and secured in an appropriate holder so there's not the slightest possibility of the candle falling over, or being blown or knocked over.
Never leave a burning candle unattended.
Never light a candle in a situation in which you might fall asleep before blowing it out.
When blowing out a candle, hold your index finger in front of the flame and blow at it. Air will flow around your finger, extinguish the candle from both sides, and prevent hot wax from splattering.
Install a smoke detector in every room where candles are burned.
get a sense of false security because you bought jar
candles. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety commissioner has
issued a number of recalls of candles and candle-related
products. The flames on some candles could shoot up seven
inches or more and in some cases, candle holders or containers can
overheat, shatter or catch on fire. An estimated 3% of
candle fires started when their holders, usually glass, broke.
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.