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Don't let a candle ruin your holidays

By Staff
Candles add a bright touch to your holidays, but they can also cause a tragic fire
Since 2000, the Alabama State Fire Marshal's Office has recorded 13 deaths from fire in the state due to the improper use of candles. The incidence of fires started in the home by candles has been increasing nationally since 1995. The latest data provided by the association indicated a 15 percent increase in candle fires from 2000-2001.
Factors contributing to candle-causing fires include the following:
As the incidence of candle fires increases, so does the risk for people to be killed or injured. According to a 2001 NFPA survey, an estimated 190 people were killed in home fires started by candles. This survey also estimates that for every person killed, approximately eight people are injured. Those at greatest risk to suffer from death or injury include young children and families living in poverty.
Fires are most commonly caused by placing candles too close to combustible sources such as mattresses or beddings. Most fires caused by candles originate in the bedroom, often while people are sleeping. However, fires that were started in a living room or common area resulted in more deaths.
Here are some tips on how to use candles safely in the home: