Candles and tea lights

Every year Kent Fire and Rescue Service responds to more than 20 candle fires in the home. Be candle smart and protect yourself, your family and your home by following these top tips:

  • candles should be fitted in a candle holder, placed on a non-flammable surface.
  • they should not be left unattended when burning, especially with young children or pets in the house.
  • make sure candles aren't burning close to curtains, bedding, clothing or even plants which might catch fire.
  • be sure not place burning candles on window sills or on the floor.
  • extinguish all candles before going to bed.
  • burning candles shouldn't be placed anywhere where they might be knocked over or caught in a draught.
  • buy ceramic containers that are well ventilated, containers will get very hot and may make the flame larger and cause it to flare up.
  • be sure not allow anything to fall into the molten wax as this can form a secondary wick.
  • it is best not to move candles when they are alight or while the wax is molten.
  • remember to buy a smoke alarm and test it regularly.

Candle safety for people with dementia

  • Try to remove candles, oil burners etc. and replace with simple ‘push lights’ or torches.
  • battery-operated push lights can be bought from most big supermarkets and hardware shops and can be stuck onto most surfaces 

If candles are used: 

  • ensure they are placed in a suitable container that will prevent the candle from falling over
  • always use a container wider than the candle so that any wax spillage will be contained
  • if large candles are used ensure any delicate wax shell that forms around the top of the candle is regularly trimmed to about half a centimetre above the wick. This will eliminate the risk of the shell collapsing and flowing onto anything flammable nearby
  • ensure candles are kept away from curtains, draughts and open windows, and not on book shelves etc
  • they should be used on a firm, even surface well away from anything flammable
  • they should not be left unattended and should always be extinguished before leaving the house or going to bed