How to Safely Burn Candles

Candles are a great way to keep your house smelling fresh and add personality to your decor. But, candles are a major cause of house fires, so learn to use them correctly.


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    Never leave a burning candle unattended. This sounds simple, but it only takes seconds for something to happen. This doesn't exactly mean that you must be in the same room as the candle, but make sure you can see it wherever you go.
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    Place the candle on a sturdy, heat-resistant surface. Don't leave candles on a plastic or otherwise flammable tray or on an end table that can be easily knocked over. Rule of thumb: If anyone, or a pet, can knock over the table, it's unsafe for the candle.
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    Put candles out of reach of pets and children. Be sure that your cat can't jump onto the table. If a candle is on a countertop, make sure it is as far back as it can go while staying four inches from the wall and other things. This way, a child can't reach over and grab it.
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    Always keep a candle at least four inches away from nonflammable items and at least eight inches away from flammable things. Nothing can ignite if it's not close enough, right?
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    Avoid placing candles in high-traffic areas. Candles can get bumped over easily in high-traffic rooms. It's safer to leave them in sitting areas or bathrooms than a living room or hallway.
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    Tie up drapes or curtains near a candle. A sudden draft could easily blow those curtains into the flame. If your windows are open, avoid burning candles altogether.
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    Always use candle holders. If a wick is too short, the holder will extinguish the flame. But, if you just have a candle sitting on a counter, you run the risk of burning the surface.
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    Purchase a candle topper. These little silver plates go over the top of a candle to keep the flame burning in one direction and eliminate smoke.
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    Make sure to use appropriate candle holders where necessary. Votive candles should be placed in a tightly fitted cup as they are meant to pool. If you put a votive candle on a plate, it would pool in two hours and run everywhere. If you put the votive in a tightly fitting votive cup, the candle will burn for around fifteen hours. Also be sure to use properly fitted holders for taper candles.
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    Extinguish and throw away candles with a wick less than one fourth of an inch. The wick is too low and is unsafe for burning.


  • Don't drink alcohol and burn candles.
  • Don't forget to put them out before sleeping.
  • Make sure your pets can't knock over a candle, or get burned by the flame.
  • When putting out a candle, ensure the wick is really out.
  • Educate others about what you learned here.
  • Candles will burn longer if the wick is snipped close to the candle.
  • When you blow out the candle, the wick will still be hot, so keep it away from children and be careful around it.
  • Don't let young children play with candles, but let them blow the candles out from a distance.


  • Candles can be dangerous if not used properly. This is just a guideline, and may not cater to specific candles' needs. Make sure to read the entire directions on the candle before use.

Article Info

Categories: Candle Making