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Candle Safety

Home Safety Tips


The Grayslake Fire Protection District continues to respond to house fires caused by unattended candles. These homes receive an enormous amount of fire, heat and smoke damage. It concerns the Grayslake Fire Protection District so much that we continue to issue press releases and urge all residents to follow these safety guidelines.



During 2003-2007, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 15,260 home structure fires started by candles per year. These fires caused an annual average of 166 civilian deaths, 1,289 civilian fire injuries, and $450 million in direct property damage. Candles caused 4% of the reported home fires, 6% of home fire deaths, 10% of home fire injuries, and 7% of direct property damage during this period. Homes include dwellings, duplexes, manufactured housing and apartments.


Facts and figures

During the five-year period of 2003-2007:

More than one-third (36%) of home candle fires started in bedrooms. These fires caused 44% of the associated deaths and half (49%) of the associated injuries.

 On average, 42 home candle fires were reported per day. 

Falling asleep was a factor in 12% percent of the home candle fires and 36% of the associated deaths.

More than half (55%) of home candle fires occurred when some form of combustible material was left or came too close to the candle.

December is the peak time of year for home candle fires. In December, 13% of home candle fires began with decorations compared to 4% the rest of the year.

Source: NFPA's "Home Candle Fires " report by Marty Ahrens, June 2010.


Candle Safety Tips


Candles may be pretty to look at but they are a cause of home fires - and home fire deaths. Remember,, a candle is an open flame, which means that it can easily ignite anything that can burn


Candle With Care


Blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed. Avoid the use of candles in the bedroom and other areas where people may fall asleep.

Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn.


If you do burn candles, make sure that you...

  1.  Use candle holders that are sturdy and won't tip over easily

  2. Put candle holders on sturdy, uncluttered surfaces

  3. Light candles carefully. Keep your hair and any looseclothing away from the flame

  4. Don't burn a candle all the way down - put it out before it gets too close to the holder or container

  5. Never use a candle if oxygen is used in the room

  6. Have flashlights and battery-powered lighting ready to use during a power outage. Never use candles

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