Burn Your Candles Safely

Candle Safety

One of the biggest concerns when it comes to candles is safety. Where ever there is an open flame there is the possibility of fire so here are some tips and ideas that will help reduce that risk.

NEVER ever leave a candle burning unsupervised.

It only takes a few seconds for a candle flame to ignite another object that has come in contact or close proximity to it.  This brings us to the next very important tip to help you enjoy your candles safely.

Do NOT burn a candle in a drafty area.

Not only is a candle in a drafty area unsafe, it also makes the candle not burn properly and also causes it to create a lot of soot (which I will address later).  A perfect example is placing a candle on a window-sill. If the window is opened, a breeze from outside could push drapes or curtains into the candle causing them to catch on fire.  There are circumstances where avoiding a draft is impossible such as at an outdoor wedding.  In cases like that there are ways to lessen the affect the wind has on the candle such as using tall cylinders.

Keep lit candles out of reach of children and pets.

Kids and animals are curious creatures.  We know candles flames are enticing which is one of the reasons we love to burn them.  A lit candle could get knocked over catching surrounding items on fire or even worse… causing harm to your child or pet.  Some candles are more easily knocked over such as tall tapers and pillars and should be used with an appropriate candle holder.

Do NOT leave wick trimmings in the candle.

There should never be anything left laying in the top of your candle.  This includes any pieces of wick dropped when trimming or pieces that broke off, and bits of matchsticks.  Some people like to burn candles outside on the porch, patio, or deck.  Make sure that no leaves or bugs have landed in the candle.

When a candle is made, the manufacturer should be using the correct size wick for the candle to burn correctly.  Adding other flammable objects to the candle could cause the flame to become much larger than it should be.  If a glass container gets too hot it could burst, sending glass pieces, and wax everywhere, and no longer keep the flame from getting to surrounding objects.

Make sure decorative items are below the height of the flame.

Many people like to place decorative accents around their candles like ribbons, bows, candle rings, and flowers.  Make sure that all of these accessories will not get in contact with the candle flame.  Remember that the longer a candle burns the shorter it gets.

Do NOT freeze your candles.

There is a lot of chatter on the internet among candle enthusiasts about putting candles in the freeze to make them burn longer.  This is a BAD idea.  First of all, freezing candles doesn’t make them burn longer than storing them at room temperature.  We video recorded an experiment to show the science behind this false theory which you can watch for yourself.

In addition to not working as expected, keeping a candle in the freezer could create a fire hazard especially with pillar candles.  The wax used to make pillar candles tends to be a little bit harder than wax used in container candles.  When the pillars get put into the freezer, the wax condenses and because it is a harder wax, it will nearly always crack.  If you try to burn the candle full of cracks, it is possible that the liquid wax will find a way to drain off the top of the candle and out the sides.  The reason this can be dangerous is because when the liquid wax pool is not contained around the wick, the flame can get really large really fast.  The bigger it gets, the more heat it produces and the faster the candle melts away, with liquid running all over.  If left unchecked, the entire candle could be completely melted down in a just a few minutes leaving the candle flame burning at the very bottom on whatever surface you had the pillar sitting on.  This is just one of the reasons we always recommend burning candles on a heat resistant surface or candle holder.

Burning jars or votive candles that have cracked wax is not a problem since both types are burned inside of a container and they are designed to completely liquefy across the top anyway.

Categories: candle burning tips, candles

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