Candle safety highlighted following three fires in a week in WrexhamPosted
North Wales Fire and Rescue Service is reminding people to take extra care with naked flames following three fires involving candles in the Wrexham area in less than a week – during one of which a dog and a cat sadly passed away.
Crews from Wrexham were called to a property on Hawkstone Way, Rhosnesni at 17.22hrs last Thursday evening, 8th December. A candle had been left unattended on a kitchen worktop, which activated smoke alarms. A neighbour called 999 and alerted the fire and rescue service. The fire caused 100% smoke damage to the kitchen area.
Firefighters from Wrexham were called to Sycamore Road, Caia Park at 20.33hrs on Tuesday, 13th December to reports of a fire involving an overheated candle holder in the bedroom of the property. The holder was removed from the property prior to arrival of the crews.
Crews from Wrexham were called to Bran, Plas Madoc, Acrefair, Wrexham at 14.23hrs yesterday, Wednesday 14th December. The fire caused 100% fire damage to the lounge, and smoke damage to the first floor landing. The residents were not home at the time of the fire, but sadly a dog and a cat died in the fire. The fire was caused by a candle left unattended.
Paul Scott, Community Safety Manager for Wrexham and Flintshire, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We’ve had three fires involving candles in less than a week in the Wrexham area – this just highlights how easily these fires can break out. Tragically, two animals also lost their lives, demonstrating that open flames really can leave a trail of devastation.
“Many people use candles in the home, especially over the festive period – but please remember that candles are not just a decoration but an open flame and extra care needs to be taken when using them. We recognise people are busy in the build up to Christmas, but we all really need to keep safety in mind too.
“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."
Paul 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.
“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.”