East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is issuing a fire safety warning after figures show that incidents involving candles and matches have increased by a massive 55 per cent in the past year.
This alert comes after the number of fires that East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service has attended between January 2015 to 2016 increased from 20 to 31, sparking concerns that residents could be more aware of the dangers around the use of candles in the home.
Head of ESFRS Community Safety team, David Kemp, has this message for anyone wanting to use candles in the home, “What may seem a harmless ambient addition to your home, if left unattended, can result in a serious house fire, resulting in property damage, personal injury or worse.
“We can’t stress enough how important it is to follow safety advice to avoid becoming a statistic.
“Some people are unaware that if you do not place a candle in a heat-resistant holder and on a stable surface that the heat can quickly burn through plastic, or other material, creating a fire which could quickly become out of control.
“Also, if a naked flame is placed too close to curtains or home furnishings then a fire can quickly take hold and rapidly spread throughout a home. It is especially important to make plans for situations where power to your home might be temporarily lost. Whilst candles might seem the easiest option, there are safer options to manage light through a power cut by, for example, considering the use of battery powered lights and torches.
“It is so important to remember to extinguish candles when nobody is in the room, or when going to bed to ensure they have been fully extinguished. Also, it is imperative to fit a working smoke alarm to give you the best chance of escaping should there be a fire in the home.”
Candles, decorations and decorative lights have been a growing cause of fires but there are many ways in which you can safeguard yourself and your home against the dangers by reducing risk.
Lighted candles - where to put them
You should take care where you decide to put candles in your home. Candles are best placed:
Make sure you put out candles before moving them and don't let anything fall into the hot wax, like matchsticks.
Putting candles out
Never leave a candle unattended. Make sure you: