Be Careful When Burning Candles


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): 703-877-3702
fire-rescue.PA-LSE@fairfaxcounty.gov

News Release 13-108
Date:  October 08, 2013

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 23,600 candle-related fires occurred in homes annually. Approximately 165 deaths and 1,525 injuries are attributed to candle-related fires. Approximately $390 million in direct property loss is reported every year.

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, call Daniel L. Schmidt or Captain I William Moreland, 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.
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