Safety Tip

Avoid the use of candles in the bedroom and other areas where people may fall asleep. Read all of NFPA's candle safety tips and download our free safety tip sheet.

From 2007-2011, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 10,630 home structure fires that were started by candles. These fires caused 115 deaths, 903 injuries and $418 million in direct property damage. Candles caused 4% of reported home fires, 5% of home fire deaths, 7% of home fire injuries, and 6% of the direct property damage from home fires during this period.

Facts and figures
During the five-year period of 2007-2011:

  • Roughly one-third (36%) of home candle fires started in bedrooms. These fires caused 39% of the associated deaths and 45% of the associated injuries.
  • On average, 29 home candle fires were reported per day. 
  • Falling asleep was a factor in 11% percent of the home candle fires and 37% of the associated deaths.
  • More than half (56%) 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's "Home Candle Fires" report by Marty Ahrens, December 2013.

Video: NFPA's Lisa Braxton shares a few candle fire safety tips to consider.

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