Candle fire safety

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.

NFPA (National Fire Protection Association)
1 Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02169-7471 USA
Telephone: +1 617 770-3000 Fax: +1 617 770-0700