Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department
4100 Chain Bridge Rd, Fairfax, Virginia 22030
Phone: 703-246-3801, TTY: 711 and Fax:703-385-1687
Duty PIO (Weekends/After-hours): 703-280-0694
Media Information Line: 703-324-3000
News Release 09-83
Date: November 16, 2009
Candles, when properly used, can provide ambiance and add warmth and coziness to a home. Candles are also often used when severe weather causes a power outage, leaving homeowners in the dark. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, approximately 17,400 candle-related fires occurred in homes annually. Approximately 180 deaths and 1,575 injuries are attributed to candle-related fires. On average, one home candle fire is reported every 34 minutes.
The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department recommends residents use products such as battery-operated or electric candles and flashlights. If residents elect to use open-flame candles, follow these recommended safety tips:
- Do not place candles near combustible materials such as upholstered furniture, newspapers, and magazines. (Fifty-five percent of candle fires start because the candle is too close to combustibles.)
- Never leave children unattended in a room with an open flame candle.
- Do not place candles on window ledges or near entryways. The potential air draft can “fan” the flame, catching curtains or other materials on fire.
- Do keep burning candles within sight at all times. Candles can present a fire hazard outdoors on decks and patios as well as inside your home.
- Always extinguish candles before leaving the home.
- Remove all packaging before lighting.
- Do use holders designed for the particular candle style.
- Place all candles on a protected, heat resistant, dry surface away from anything that can catch fire and out of the reach of children and pets.
REMEMBER - Candle fires are preventable!
For more information, contact the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department or visit your local fire and rescue station. You can also visit our website at: www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fire
For more information, call Daniel L. Schmidt or Captain I Randal Bittinger, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, 703-246-3801 and TTY: 711. Fairfax County is committed to nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in all county programs, services and activities. Reasonable accommodations will be provided upon request.