Be Careful When Burning Candles

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

News Release 11-74
Date:  October 18, 2011 

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, contact the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department or visit your local fire and rescue station. You can also visit our website at

For more information, call Daniel L. Schmidt or Captain I Randal Bittinger,
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, 703-246-3801 and TTY: 711.
Duty PIO (Weekends/After-hours): 703-877-3702
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.
4100 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22030

Contact Fairfax County: Phone, Email or Twitter | Main Address: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035
Technical Questions: Web Administrator

ADA Accessibility | Website Accessibility
Awards | FOIA | Mobile | Using this Site | Web Disclaimer & Privacy Policy | Get Adobe Reader
Official site of the County of Fairfax, Virginia, © Copyright 2015

Website Feedback Website Feedback    Globe with various flags representing Web site language translations   Language Translations

Return to Graphic Version