Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and many families will use candles for celebrations, to light up the area around the dinner table, or just to relax. Even though candles are popular,  they are a cause for home fires and home fire deaths.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, an average of 32 home candle fires are reported every day in the United States. Roughly one-third of home candle fires started in the bedroom.

Remember a candle is an open flame, which means that it can easily ignite anything that can burn. It’s essential to blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed.

Here are some additional candle safety tips:

  • Avoid using candles in the bedroom or in other areas where people my fall asleep.
  • Think about using flameless candles in your home. They look and smell like real candles.

If you do burn candles, make sure that you…

  • Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn. More than half of all candle fires start when things that can burn are too close to the candle.
  • Use candle holders that are sturdy and won’t tip over easily.
  • Put candle holders on a sturdy, uncluttered surface.
  • Light candles carefully. Keep your hair and any loose clothing away from the flame.
  • Don’t burn a candle all the way down – put it out before it gets too close to the holder or container.
  • Never use a candle if oxygen is being used in the home.
  • Never leave a child alone in a room. Keep matches and lighters up high and out of children’s reach, in locked cabinet.
  • Secure pets. Some pets are easily attracted to the flickering flame of a candle and might tip it over.

Also remember to have flashlights and battery-powered lighting ready to use during a power outage. Avoid using candles.

Stop candle fires before they start! For more fire safety tips, visit escapetv.org or escapeinc.org.


02-02-2016 WyomingFirePhoto

Michigan and Alabama lead the nation in deadly home fires, according to new data from the U.S Fire Administration.

Between Jan. 1 and Feb. 1, 19 Michigan residents lost their lives in house fires. Three of those deaths happened in West Michigan, including a 57-year-old woman who died in a house fire in Wyoming Saturday, a 77-year-old woman who died in a Muskegon house fireon Jan. 11, and a 9-year-old girl killed in a mobile home fire in Emmett Township on Jan. 10.

MI Map

However, the number of West Michigan home fire deaths is down 40 percent from last year, according to ESCAPE.

Fire departments have recorded at least a dozen instances where West Michigan residents have escaped a burning home because of a smoke alarm installed as part of WOTV 4 Women’s Operation Save A Life campaign.

>>LIST: West Michigan smoke detector installation programs

In 2015, a record 103 people lost their lives in Michigan house fires.