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With the holidays fast approaching and the increased usage of seasonal decorations, it is important to focus on candle fire safety and prevention. Because the majority of fires result from human error and negligence, candle fires and their associated casualties are preventable.

  • If possible, avoid using lighted candles.
  • If you must use candles, ensure that they are placed in sturdy holders.
  • Keep candles away from children and pets.
  • Be sure to extinguish candles after each use.
  • Never leave burning candles unattended.

By following a few candle fire safety tips, everyone can enjoy a safe and happy holiday season.

Causes and Circumstances of Home Candle Fires

  • On average, 42 home candle fires are reported every day.
  • More than half of all candle fires start when something that could burn, such as furniture, mattresses or bedding, curtains, or decorations is too close to the candle.
  • In one-fifth (20%) of candle fires, the candles are unattended or abandoned.
  • Over one-third (36%) of home candle fires begin in the bedroom.
  • Falling asleep is a factor in 12% of home candle fires and 36% of the associated deaths.
  • December is the peak time of year for home candle fires.  In December, 13% of home candle fires begin with decorations compared to 4% the rest of the year.
  • One-half of home candle fire deaths occur between Midnight and 6 am.
  • Young children and older adults have the highest death risk from candle fires.
  • The risk of fatal candle fires appears higher when candles are used for light.


By the Numbers:


15,260 estimated number of home candle fires each year

166 estimated number of home candle fire deaths each year

1,289 estimated number of home candle fire injuries each year

55% of home candle fires start because the candle is too close to combustible materials

20% of candle fires begin when candles are unattended or abandoned

36% of home candle fires begin in the bedroom, more than in any other room

Top Five Days for

Home Candle Fires:

1. Christmas Day

2. Christmas Eve

3. New Years Day

4. Halloween

5. December 23rd

50% of candle fire deaths occur between Midnight and 6 am


  • Avoid using lighted candles.
  • If you do use candles, ensure they are in sturdy metal, glass or ceramic holders and placed where they cannot be easily knocked down.
  • Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Set a good example by using matches, lighters, and fire carefully.
  • Children should never be allowed to play with matches, lighters, or candles.
  • Never put candles on a Christmas tree.
  • Extinguish candles after use and before going to bed.
  • And NEVER leave burning candles unattended!