Candles sparked nearly 1,000 house fires in a year, resulting in nine deaths and more than 400 casualties, according to latest fire statistics for the UK. Nationally, there are an average 92 candle fires a month.
With this in mind, The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is reminding lovestruck couples who are adding a more romantic ambience to their homes to extinguish candles before going to bed.
And to never leave them burning unattended, in a draught or anywhere near curtains, soft furnishings or under shelves, which could ignite.
Sheila Merrill, RoSPA’s public health adviser, said: “Valentine’s Day is a time for romance and we want couples to enjoy candle-lit evenings, but make sure you follow candle safety advice so what should be a romantic night doesn’t go up in smoke.
“Candles should always be used in proper holders or secure containers as tealights can easily burn through a surface, especially if they are on top of a television or shelf. Most importantly, don’t leave any candles burning unattended.”
Mark Cashin, chairman of the Chief Fire Officers’ National Home Safety Committee, said: “In the fire service, we see all too often the devastation that candle fires can cause. Many couples light candles for Valentine’s Day and firefighters traditionally get callouts to house fires because of this.
“It’s important to never leave candles unattended. Don’t get too caught up in the moment that you forget to blow out the candles before you go to bed.”
RoSPA’s advice for Valentine’s Day is to:
· Always read and follow the instructions given on any products that you will be using in your home, including candles and oil burners
· Do not leave burning candles unattended and remember to put them out completely when leaving the house or going to bed
· Keep candles away from flammable materials including curtains and decorations, and never stand them under a shelf
· Always place candles in a stable holder, and remember to stand tea lights on a heat-resistant surface (they have been known to burn through baths and televisions).