Over the past 100 years, candles have evolved from a practical light source to a decorative accent in your home. Candles are a great décor item. They eliminate odours in your space and can add a subtle lighting element. However, it is still important to remember that candles are still an open flame, and any open flame is a potential fire hazard.
This article aims not to warn you off of candles but to remind you of the potential hazards and bring to light the importance of candle safety. Burning a candle in a glass jar is your safest option, as you won’t have to worry about wax melting onto your surface. But there still may be things around your candle that may be potentially flammable; thus, it is essential to be cautious of the items you place around your candle when lit.
As glass is non-combustible and non-porous, your container won’t be able to catch fire, making it the perfect material for candles. Materials such as wood or plastic aren’t used as candle jars as they are incredibly flammable, making them highly unsuitable. Porous, un-glazed clays like terracotta end up soaking up the wax in the container. This causes the wax to extend its boundaries into the container, making it a potential fire hazard, as your container is also likely to catch fire.
When purchasing candles, it’s imperative to make sure your glass jar is sturdy. A flat base is fundamental as it’ll prevent your candle from tipping over, thus causing the flame to not spread. It’s also essential to ensure the bottom and walls of your jar are thick, as a broad base will prevent the surface below from overheating and will regulate the temperature of the jar, making sure that the jar itself won’t overheat. The side walls of your jar should also be thick, as thin glass is more prone to cracking under heat. This is also why using wine glasses as candle containers is frowned upon.
Here are some tips you can follow to practice candle safety.
- Don’t burn candles overnight. Most candles do not burn out by themselves. Going to sleep with a lit candle burning is one of the most dangerous things you can do, as the jar can quickly overheat and crack, potentially starting a fire.
- Always burn your candles on a flat surface. Burning your candles on a bumpy or uneven surface might cause the candle to tip over.
- Keep candles away from pets or children. Always keep candles out of the reach of your children or pets. An open flame appeals to both, which might cause them to investigate. While doing so, they might accidentally knock over the candle or burn themselves. This is why it’s in your best interest to keep it out of their reach.
- Flammable materials must be kept away. Things like paper, clothes, curtains, bedding etc., must all be kept at least 12 inches away from an open flame, as they are a potential fire hazard and run the risk of catching fire.
Candles can start fires. Two per cent of all house fires are caused by candles. However, by educating yourself on candle safety and following a few safety precautions, you can prevent a candle house fire and safely use scented candles. We hope this article helped!