Keeping your home safe from candles this holiday season

Keeping your home safe from candles this holiday season

MIDLAND, TX (KWES) -
If you're someone who loves to light up some candles, there might be some dangers you may be unaware of.

A report by the National Fire Protection Association said December is the month where many candle fires are common.

"Fire is everyone's fight, don't let a fire be your fault, especially around Christmas time," said Fire Marshal David Hickman with the Midland Fire Department.

Candles are a nice way to keep the ambiance in a room subtle. But these $5 scented items could cause thousands of dollars to your home.

"We've had several fires in past years around Christmas time is a tragedy," said Hickman. "But people leaving these unattended with children around or they'll set them on a combustible surface."

A study by the National Fire Protection Association said home candle fires ranked the second among the major causes in house fires in the country. It is reported that three out of every five fires started because a candle was too close to something that could burn. So in these situations, here are some tips you can do to prevent your happy home from becoming a total loss.

- Make sure you keep candles away from combustible materials like plastic or paper. 
- Never leave a candle unattended, even if that means falling asleep while a candle is still burning.
- If you're only looking at candles based on their appearance, you can use a safer alternative and use electronic candles.
- Another helpful tip is to always check the bottom of your candle, they'll usually have directions where you should place your candle.
- Place them on something non-combustible like a ceramic plate.

"As this glass gets hot, it becomes under pressure," said Hickman describing what happens when the candle wick is too low. "It causes things to expand and the glass can become under pressure. If it gets too hot, the glass can shatter. Because it's under pressure, it can travel several feet and it can be hot enough to ignite light material."

So while you plan on either leaving your home, make sure you double-check to make sure all your candles are out completely. You may just save thousands of dollars by just simply keeping an eye on a small flame.

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