Candles have a magical and warming effect on us, especially during the winter holidays.  Still, we shouldn’t forget that candles are open flames that can cause great amounts of damage and even destroy our homes. That is why the National Fire Prevention Association urges everyone to light their candles with care.

Though less frequent these days, in the times of so many fire resistant materials and even trees, candle fires still cause an average of 3,000 injuries and $900 million in damage each year in the U.S., according to the Insurance Information Institute (III).

December also is the peak time for candle fires.  During this month, candles cause half of all home decoration fires, the NFPA says. The holidays are times of cheer and happiness, to be shared with loved ones, they should not be times to worry about burning your house down with all of your beautiful candles.

Follow these simple tips to ensure your holidays are as magical as can be.

Keep Candles Out of the Bedroom:

Statistically, people use 42% of candles purchased in the U.S. in their living rooms, but 35% of candle fires start in the bedroom, according to the National Candle Association. That’s right folks, they might be a romantic idea, but they can prove to be quite the costly mood-setters.  Mattresses, bedding and other bedroom objects can be extremely flammable.

Before You Light Up:

Clean and trim the candlewicks down so that they measure about 1/8 of an inch to 1/4 of an inch to help prevent dripping and uneven burning. Before lighting them, make sure that your candles stand at least 3 inches apart so they don’t melt into one another.

Keep Your Tree Well Watered:  

Always pick a green tree and water it very well. Otherwise, a candle or even holiday lights, could cause it to burst into flames in just seconds. If your family uses a fake tree, make sure it’s made of non-flammable materials.

The Perfect Location Is Very Important: 

Keep your candles at least a foot away from anything flammable, especially paper, wrapping paper, curtains, upholstered furniture, Christmas trees, clothing, bedding, and carpets.  If you can figure out a way to suspend candles in mid-air we suggest doing that…and letting us know how you managed to accomplish this feat.  Also refrain from using candles near drafts, vents, ceiling fans, or air currents as the flame can be blown into flammable objects.

Pay Attention to that Burning Thing in Your House!

The most important thing to remember in candle safety is to be attentive. Check your candle frequently, and don’t let it burn down too far.  Never leave candles unattended; snuff them out before leaving the room or going to sleep. Don’t let your busy holiday schedule edge out safety concerns. Fire risk shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Even though candles provide warmth and coziness, they can also turn even the brightest of holidays into a dark nightmare.

As always, nothing prepares you more for a terrible situation more than having insurance.  Check your home insurance policy to make sure your limits are high enough to cover your possessions this holiday season.


May your holidays be as bright and wonderful as the sun that shines upon our days…