Accidentally left candle burning

Accidentally left candle burning

Leaving a candle burning by mistake is an easy thing to do, but it comes with risks. Every year, unattended candles start almost half of all home fires caused by decorations. Our article offers practical tips to stop this from happening in your home.

Keep reading and stay safe.

Key Takeaways - What should I do if I accidentally left a candle burning

  • Unattended candles cause nearly half of all home fires related to decorations, so always supervise lit candles.
  • To avoid breathing in harmful smoke, trim candle wicks and ensure rooms are well ventilated when a candle is lit.
  • Clean up spilt wax quickly to prevent burns or fire hazards; use proper tools like paper towels or a hairdryer on low heat.
  • Flameless options such as LED candles reduce the risk of fire and offer safety, especially in bedrooms or forgotten areas.
  • Always extinguish candles with a snuffer before leaving the room and never use water which can spread hot wax.


The Dangers of Leaving a Candle Burning

Leaving a candle burning can pose serious risks, including the potential for fire. Inhaling smoke and the risk of spilled wax are also major concerns when it comes to candle safety.

Risk of fire

Candles left to burn without supervision can easily become a fire hazard. A single flame may seem harmless, but it holds the power to ignite nearby materials such as curtains, furniture, and even clothing.

Soot production increases in unattended candles, which could signal incomplete combustion and the potential for flames to spread.

Neglecting a candle burning in a glass jar doesn't lessen the risk either; the heat from the candle can cause the glass to break unexpectedly. This sudden shattering scatters burning wax and possibly sparks a larger blaze.

Homes with pets or children are especially vulnerable – an accidental nudge can send a lit candle tumbling. Candle safety is crucial: extinguishing candles before leaving reduces these dangers significantly.

Always keep open flames away from flammable items and ensure that your home's smoke alarms are functioning correctly—a small step towards preventing devastating outcomes from inadvertently left lit candles.

Inhaling smoke

Inhaling smoke from a burning candle can pose serious health risks. When the wick burns, it releases soot and other particles into the air, which can be harmful when inhaled. Breathing in these tiny particles may lead to respiratory issues and aggravate conditions such as asthma or allergies.

To reduce the risk of inhaling smoke from candles, ensure proper ventilation in the room where they are used and consider using natural wax candles or soy-based alternatives.

Properly maintaining your candles is crucial for minimising the production of soot and reducing the potential harm caused by inhaling smoke. Trim the wick to about 1/4 inch before lighting each time, allowing for a cleaner burn that emits less soot into your home's air.

Spilled wax

Spilt wax from a burning candle can lead to potential hazards and damage if not promptly addressed. The hot liquid wax can cause burns on the skin or ignite flammable materials nearby, posing a fire risk.

It is essential to carefully clean up spilt wax using appropriate tools such as paper towels, ice packs, or even a hairdryer set on low heat for removing excess residue from surfaces.

If dropped onto fabric or upholstery, allow the wax to harden before gently scraping it off with a blunt object and then applying an iron over paper towels to absorb any remaining wax.

Tips for Preventing Candle Accidents

Accidentally left candle burning

To prevent candle accidents, always remember to never leave a candle unattended, especially at night-time. Consider using flameless alternatives or be sure to properly extinguish candles before leaving them.

Never leave a candle unattended

Always ensure that you never leave a burning candle unattended, especially at night-time or when leaving a room. Before going to bed or leaving the house, make sure to blow out all candles, regardless of their burning time.

Regularly check on your candles and avoid the risks of fire hazards associated with neglecting them. It is important to always be cautious and attentive when using lit candles in your home.

Remember to follow safety precautions and take proactive steps to prevent any accidents related to forgetting about an open flame. Always prioritise the safety of your household by staying mindful of any unintentionally left burning candles, avoiding potential dangers associated with carelessly leaving a candle lit.

Use flameless alternatives

Consider using flameless alternatives to candles, such as LED or battery-operated candles and fairy lights. These alternatives provide a safer option for creating a warm and cosy ambiance without the risk of fire hazards.

Additionally, they eliminate the need for monitoring and extinguishing flames, reducing the potential for accidents due to forgetfulness or neglect. Flameless alternatives also offer peace of mind, especially when used in bedrooms or other areas where it's easy to overlook traditional candles.

Another flameless alternative is wax warmers with electric bulbs or hot plates that melt wax cubes without an open flame. This provides a similar aromatic experience as burning scented candles while eliminating the dangers associated with unattended flames.

Properly extinguish candles before leaving

Before leaving a room or heading to bed, ensure that all candles are extinguished. Use a candle snuffer to put out the flame gently without splattering wax. Never use water to put out a candle, as this can cause the hot wax to splatter and create a mess.

Additionally, be cautious not to blow too hard when extinguishing the flame, as it can send hot embers flying.

To avoid fire hazards and protect your home from potential accidents, always make it a habit to properly extinguish candles before leaving them unattended.

Accidentally left candle burning


In summary, always remember to blow out your candles before leaving a room. Consider using flameless alternatives for night-time use. Finally, ensure that you are not sleeping with a lit candle nearby to prevent any potential accidents.

Stay safe and practice good candle safety habits in your home!


1. What should I do if I've accidentally left a candle burning?

If you've mistakenly left a glass jar candle or any other type of candle burning, act quickly and safely blow it out to avoid potential fire hazards.

2. Is it dangerous to forget blowing out candles before sleeping?

Yes, forgetting to extinguish a lit candle can be very risky, as night-time candle use increases the chances of accidental fires while you're asleep.

3. Can leaving candles unattended cause fires in my home?

Absolutely, unintentionally leaving a lit candle unchecked can ignite nearby flammable materials, leading to serious fire incidents; always take proper safety precautions with your candles.

4. How long will a candle wick keep burning if I neglect it?

A neglected or carelessly left-lit candle will burn until the wax runs out or the wick fully burns down; this could result in unexpected dangers like hot wax spills or even fires.

5. What are some essential safety tips for using candles at home?

For optimal safety when using candles: never leave them unattended, place them away from flammables, ensure stable holders are used and double-check that all candles are blown out before bed or leaving your home.