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 2006-2010, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 11,640 home structure fires that were started by candles. These fires caused 126 deaths, 953 injuries and $438 million in direct property damage. Candles caused 3% of reported home fires, 5% of home fire deaths, 7% of home fire injuries, and 6% of the direct property damage from home fires in 2010.

Facts and figures
During the five-year period of 2006-20010:

  • Roughly one-third (35%) of home candle fires started in bedrooms. These fires caused 42% of the associated deaths and 45% of the associated injuries.
  • On average, 32 home candle fires were reported per day. 
  • Falling asleep was a factor in 11% percent of the home candle fires and 43% 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 2012.

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

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