This week is Candle Safety Week (24-30 Oct) and people across North Wales are encouraged to take on board some basic advice to help reduce the risk of fire in their homes.
Dave Hughes, Head of Fire Safety for North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: “As winter approaches, candles may be used more often - natural sunlight is reduced, and we have Halloween, Guy Fawkes night and various religious festivals and observations throughout October, November and December.
"Many people are now using battery operated candles and this reduces the risk of fire all together. These electronic candles are just as effective at creating an atmosphere but are much safer than a candle with a flame.
"If you do choose to use a real candle, please do take extra care. To prevent candle fires from starting in your home, always keep an eye on your candles and ensure they are extinguished when you leave the room, even for a moment. Place your lit candles away from curtains, pets and children.
"We know that most religious observances use candles, sometimes for long periods of time - for example, it is traditional for candles to be displayed in the window during Christmas, Hanukkah and Diwali. Positioning of candles is important - burn candles on a heat resistant mat and maintain a safe distance from curtains. We also recommend you always remember to put them out when you leave the room.
“Even with these precautions, it is important to be prepared should the worst ever happen. Working smoke alarms can give you the vital time to escape safely. Keep yourself and others safe by testing your alarm weekly and ensure everyone in your house is familiar with an escape route.”
As part of Candle Fire Safety Week, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service has provided a list of top tips to help everyone enjoy candles safety:
- Never leave lit candles unattended. Put burning candles out when you leave the room, and make sure they’re out completely at night.
- Place your candles on a stable surface, out of the reach of pets and children, and keep them away from flammable objects like curtains, furniture, bedding and books.
- Don’t move candles once they are lit. Always put them out before moving.
- Do not burn several candles close together as this might cause the flame to flare.
- Burn candles in a well-ventilated room, out of drafts, vents or air currents. This will help prevent rapid or uneven burning, soot, and dripping.
- Always put scented candles in a heat resistant holder. These candles are designed to liquefy when heated to maximise fragrance.
- Fit smoke alarms and test them weekly. A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999.
- Make sure that everyone in your home knows what to do if a fire should occur. It is best practice to rehearse your escape route, especially amongst children and visitors.
Have you had a free Safe and Well Check?
A Safe and Well Check is a free home fire safety visit, tailored to an individual’s needs that can support members of our community to help protect them and their home from fire.
During the Safe and Well Check our staff will advise occupiers on safety within the home and can also offer free interventions such as smoke detectors, smokers bed packs, fire extinguishing misting systems and smart equipment such as cooker isolators.
You can register for a free safe and well check by texting details to 07507303678 , filling in the online enquiry form here or by calling 0800 169 1234 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.