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Candle fire safety

candle safety

From 2009-2013, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 9,300 home structure fires that were started by candles. These fires caused 86 deaths, 827 injuries and $374 million in direct property damage. 

Facts and figures

During the five-year period of 2009-2013:

  • Candles caused 3% of reported home fires, 3% of home fire deaths, 6% of home fire injuries, and 5% of the direct property damage in home fires.
  • Roughly one-third (36%) of home candle fires started in bedrooms. These fires caused 32% of the associated deaths and 47% of the associated injuries.
  • Falling asleep was a factor in 11% percent of the home candle fires and 30% of the associated deaths.
  • On average, 25 home candle fires were reported per day. 
  • More than half (58%) of home candle fires occurred when some form of combustible material was left or came too close to the candle.
  • December is the peak time of year for home candle fires. In December, 11% of home candle fires began with decorations compared to 4% the rest of the year.

Source: NFPA "Home Candle Fires" report


Sample social media posts on candle fire safety

Use these posts on your your social media sitesTwitter to encourage candle safety.

  • On average, 25 home candle fires are reported each day. Stay safe: http://ow.ly/XR6vj   
    #FireFacts
  • The top 3 days for home candle fires are New Year’s Day, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. http://ow.ly/XR6vj   
    #FireFacts
  • Safety tip: Keep candles at least 12 inches from anything that can burn. http://ow.ly/XR8DP
  • See all posts.


Remember that a candle is an open flame, which means that it can easily ignite anything that can burn. NFPA shares a few candle fire safety tips to consider.