Candles Causing More Home Fires Than Ever Before

The number of home fires caused by candles reached a 20-year high according to a recent report from the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA).

The report shows that during the last ten years, the estimated number of candle fires jumped from 8,240 to 15,040 a year. According to the report, over the last ten years, candle fires caused:

  • 4% of all home fires, up from 1%.
  • 102 deaths, up from 32.
  • 1,473 injuries, up from 506.
  • $278 million in direct property damage, up from $38.1 million.

“Sales of candles and candle accessories has also reached an all time estimated high of $2.3 billion annually, and the popularity of candles is an obvious factor,” says Marty Ahrens, the report’s author. “If you have more candles being used, you obviously have the potential for more of them coming in contact with something that can start a fire,” she says.

Four in 10 candle fires occur when burning candles are left unattended; almost half of all home candle fires start in a bedroom. Candle fires increase significantly during the holiday season. Home candle fires are almost twice as likely to occur in December as in the average month.

Officials with the National Candle Association estimate that 85% of candle fires could be prevented if proper safety rules were followed, such as trimming wicks, keeping candles out of the reach of pets and children, and never leaving candles unattended or near combustible materials.

© City of Hazelwood

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