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From 2012-2016, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 8,200 home structure fires that were started by candles per year. These fires caused an annual average of 80 deaths, 770 injuries and $264 million in direct property damage. 


Sample social media posts on candle fire safety

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

  • On average, 23 home candle fires are reported each day. Stay safe: #FireFacts
  • The top 3 days for home candle fires are New Year’s Day, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. #FireFacts
  • Safety tip: Keep candles at least 12 inches from anything that can burn.
  • Read all of NFPA's candle safety tips & download our free safety tip sheet:
  • In this video, tips on staying safe with candles in your home are reviewed. Check it out:
  • Think about using flameless candles in your home. They look and smell like real candles!
  • Safety tip: Blow out all candles before you leave a room or go to bed!
  • Lit candles are used in religious services, places of worship & at home. Tips on staying safe with religious candles:


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.

Candle fire facts

During the five-year period of 2012-2016:

  • Candles caused 2% of reported home fires, 3% of home fire deaths, 7% of home fire injuries, and 4% of the direct property damage in home fires.
  • Roughly one-third (37%) of home candle fires started in bedrooms. These fires caused 30% of the associated deaths and 50% of the associated injuries.
  • Falling asleep was a factor in 11% percent of the home candle fires and 21% of the associated deaths.
  • On average, 23 home candle fires were reported per day. 
  • Three of every five (60%) 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, 12% of home candle fires began with decorations compared to 4% the rest of the year.

Source: NFPA's Applied Research