Killer Candles!

Published: 10/01/2023 By Allan Fuller

We all love the soft flickering romantic atmosphere that candles create, even more so the scented variety. But the innocent looking candle is a potential killer.  

According to the London Fire Brigade website,, in London over 200 fires were connected to candle use in 2020.

·These items should always be held firmly in heat-resistant holders and placed on a stable surface where they won’t be knocked over.

·Keep them away from materials that might catch fire – that's things like curtains, furniture, clothes, and hair.
·Be especially careful if you have a lot of flammable items in your home, like collections of books, magazines, or papers.

·Be aware that tea lights get very hot and without proper holders can melt through plastic surfaces like a TV or bath.

·To avoid accidents, keep candles and other naked flames out of reach of children and pets.

·Never leave burning candles unattended,  put burning candles out when you leave the room, and make sure they’re out completely at night.

·Place your candles carefully. Make sure they are on a stable surface, out of the reach of pets and children, and keep them away from flammable objects like curtains, furniture, bedding, and books.

·Don’t move candles once they are lit.

·Do not burn several candles close together as this might cause the flame to flare.

·Burn candles in a well-ventilated room, but well away from any draughts, vents, or air currents. This will help prevent rapid or uneven burning, soot, and dripping.

·Always put scented candles in a heat resistant holder. These candles are designed to liquefy when heated to maximise fragrance.

·Fit a smoke alarm and test it regularly. A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999.

·Make sure that everyone in your home knows what to do if a fire should occur - practise your escape route.

Scented candles are also getting the blame for harming the environment and have been criticised in the government’s clean air strategy because you could be breathing in dangerous toxins. This is a concern because we are one of the biggest users of scented candles in the world, reckoned to spend in the region of £90m annually. 

Apparently, an estimate has calculated that 81% of people here use air care products, candles, and diffusers. Most scented candles are made from paraffin wax, which studies have found can release cancer causing chemicals harmful for people who have respiratory conditions including asthma. Some candles also have wick wrapped with other toxic materials. 

Natural wax candles that use soy are the cleanest, producing an estimated tenth of the soot normally created by a paraffin candle.