Smoke signals: Candle safety
Candle fires reached a 19-year high of 12,540 in 1998, resulting in 157 deaths, 1,106 civilian injuries and $176.1 million in property damage. Unattended, abandoned or inadequately controlled candles are the leading cause of candle fires in homes (37 percent), followed by leaving candles too close to combustibles (19 percent), according to annual averages from 1994 to 1998. December is the peak month for candle fires, with nearly twice the average number of incidents. Almost half of home candle fires start in the bedroom.
Extinguish all candles when leaving the room or going to sleep. Keep candles away from items that can catch fire (e.g. clothing, books, paper, curtains, Christmas trees and flammable decorations). Use candle holders that are sturdy, won’t tip over easily, are made from a material that can’t burn and are large enough to collect dripping wax. Don’t place lit candles in windows, where blinds and curtains can close over them. Place candle holders on a sturdy, uncluttered surface and do not use candles in places where they could be knocked over by children or pets. Keep candle wicks trimmed to 1/4 inch and extinguish taper and pillar candles when they get to within two inches of the holder or decorative material.
Candles and children
Keep candles up high out of reach of children. Never leave a child unattended in a room with a candle.
A child should not sleep in a room with a lit candle. Don’t allow children or teens to have candles in their bedrooms.
During power outages
Try to avoid carrying a lit candle. Don’t use a lit candle when searching for items in a confined space.
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Next week, Colorado Northwestern Community College and Moffat County are hosting a free day-long seminar for local ranchers and agriculture producers.