Candle safety warning after man hospitalised following candle fire in Trefor

Posted 20/11/2015 10:01:01

A Senior Officer from North Wales Fire and Rescue Service is appealing to people to take care when using candles this coming Candle Fire Safety Week (23 -29 November) to reduce the risk of fire in their homes.

This follows an incident last night in Trefor, Gwynedd where a man was hospitalised after a fire in his home caused by a candle left unattended. Crews from Pwllheli and Nefyn were called to the property on New Street, Trefor at 22.09hrs last night to tackle a fire in the kitchen. The fire caused 100% fire damage to the kitchen and the 90 year old occupant has been admitted to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.

Stuart Millington, Senior Fire Safety Manager for North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: “This incident highlights the dangers of candles left unattended and how easily fires can happen.

“Candles are a typical sight in many homes - but it’s important to remember that a candle is not just a decorative feature. Left unattended, an open flame could leave a trail of devastation.

"We attended 20 fires involving candles last year – and although this number is thankfully relatively low, when they do happen, they can cause devastating damage.

“Although they look attractive, candles are still open flames and, as such, extra care needs to be taken when using them. Another option is to use a battery operated tea light, which can be purchased for a small cost and are battery operated instead of requiring a flame. These candles are just as effective at creating an atmosphere but are much safer than a regular candle. Also, it’s a good idea to keep torches and spare batteries to hand for use in the event of a power cut. "

Stuart advises that residents using regular candles follow the safety advice below:

  • Make sure candles are secured in a proper holder, on a stable surface, and away from materials that may catch fire - such as curtains

  • Children and pets should never be left alone with lit candles

  • Never leave a lit candle unattended. Put candles out whenever you leave the room, and make sure they’re put out completely at night

 

  • Keep the wax pool clear of wick trimmings, matches and debris at all times

 

  • Burn candles in a well-ventilated room, but avoid draughts, vents or air currents - this will help prevent rapid or uneven burning, sooting, and excessive dripping

 

  • Trim the wick to ¼ inch each time before burning. Long or crooked wicks can cause uneven burning, dripping or flaring
  • Don’t move candles once they are lit

 

  • Follow the manufacturer's recommendations on burn time and proper use

 

  • Always put scented candles in a heat resistant holder, as these candles are designed to liquify when heated, to maximise fragrance

 

  • Do not burn several candles close together as this might cause the flame to flare

 

  • Use a snuffer or a spoon to put out candles. It’s safer than blowing them out which may cause sparks.

 

He added:

 

“Even with these precautions, it’s vital to be prepared should the worst happen. A working smoke alarm can give you the vital time you need to get out, stay out, and call 999. Keep yourself and your loved ones safe by testing your alarm regularly and by planning and practising an escape route.”

 

For a free home safety check and advice on safety in your home, please call North Wales Fire and Rescue Service’s free 24 hour hotline on 0800 169 1234 or visit www.nwales-fireservice.org.uk or text 88365, ensuring you prefix your message with the word HFSC.

 

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