News release text
The dangers of leaving candles and tea lights burning unattended have once again been highlighted after a fire broke out in Chatham last night (Thursday).
Crews were called to Arnhem Drive shortly before 10pm after a tea light, believed to have been moved back when the family dog jumped up on the cabinet, set the television alight in the living room.
Medway Crew Manager, Darryl Spicer, said: “The fire broke out while the residents were upstairs and it was only thanks to the smoke alarm sounding that they became aware of the fire in their home. On discovering what was happening they were able to tackle the small fire with a bucket of water before it had time to fully develop.
“Candles and tea lights are often seen as harmless decorations but if not used carefully can lead to disaster. Always ensure they are placed on a heat proof surface and are fully extinguished before leaving the room.
“Luckily no-one was injured but I would always advise people unfortunate enough to discover a fire in their home that it is often far safer to get out of your property, closing internal doors as you go, and call for the emergency services.
“Finally, this incident highlights the importance of fitting and maintaining smoke alarms on every floor of your home. Without the early warning the occupants may not have discovered the fire until much later, resulting in greater damage to their home and potentially putting their lives at risk.”
Firefighters remained at the scene for ten minutes, using a thermal imaging camera to ensure that the fire was fully extinguished.
Follow these safety tips when using candles or tea lights:
Candles should be fitted in a candle holder and placed on a non-flammable surface
Do not leave burning candles unattended - especially with young children or pets in the house
Do not place burning candles close to curtains, bedding or clothing which might catch fire
Do not place burning candles on window sills or on the floor
Extinguish all candles before going to bed
Do not place burning candles where they might be knocked over
Buy ceramic containers that are well ventilated
Do not allow anything to fall into the molten wax as this can form a secondary wick
Do not move candles when they are alight or while the wax is molten