Stay safe with candles

We understand that candles can help create that cosy glow in the house, but they aren't an efficient way of heating a room and can have a devastating impact if used incorrectly. Around 30% of fires started by candles and attended by fire and rescue services result in death or injury.

The safest way to enjoy candles is to use LED battery-operated ones instead, but please make sure the batteries cannot be accessed by children or pets.

If you must use real candles, please follow this advice:

  • Always make sure candles are in a suitable holder and away from anything flammable
  • Don't burn several candles close together - this might cause the flame to flare
  • Don't use candles in bedrooms or anywhere where you might fall asleep
  • Never leave lit candles unattended. Put burning candles out when you leave the room, and make sure they’re out completely at night
  • Place your candles carefully. Make sure they are on a stable surface, out of the reach of pets and children.
  • Keep candles away from flammable objects like curtains, furniture, bedding and books
  • Keep matches and lighters out of children's reach.
  • Do not light with matches - this avoids the risk of 'double wicking'
  • Do not move candles once they are lit
  • Graphic showing someone asleep on a sofa with candles still lit behind them, and alcohol on the floor. Big red cross to show this is not safe. Text reads: Avoid using candles when tired or drinkingAvoid using candles when tired or drinking
  • Burn candles in a well-ventilated room, out of drafts, vents or air currents. This will help prevent rapid or uneven burning, soot, and dripping
  • Always put scented candles in a heat resistant holder. These candles are designed to liquefy when heated to maximise fragrance
  • Fit smoke alarms and test them now and monthly. A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999
  • Make sure that everyone in your home knows what to do if a fire should occur – practice your escape route

For free fire safety advice or to request a home fire safety check, call 0800 731 5958. Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service also provides free smoke alarms for Merseyside residents aged 65 or over.