I am sure that the emergency services hate to see the end of summer as inevitably life gets busier for them later in the year. On top of the obvious dangers of icy roads, darker evenings and flooding they have to negotiate Bonfire Night and Christmas. Now I am sure you understand why fireworks might be problematic but what’s dangerous about Christmas I hear you ask.
Well apart from relatives up and down the land threatening to kill each other and an epidemic of overeating and inebriation, Christmas tends to mean that there are more domestic fires. These are not generally caused by the frustrated recipients of hideous festive knitwear burning their presents. Neither are they usually the result of incinerated turkeys or the in laws torching uncle Charlie’s house in revenge for a bout of salmonella poisoning. The main offenders are candles which are the direct cause of thousands of fires every year.
The Naked Truth
Candles are still very much a feature of the festive season in many homes but often with disastrous consequences. Candles are very pretty and add a special ambiance to your home but they have naked flames which can ignite a fire in seconds. There are more fires at Christmas because there are more candles on display and more flammable materials just waiting to be ignited.
After all most homes do not feature a tree in the living room for the rest of the year nor do they have lots of paper cards on mantelpieces. They don’t have decorations hanging from the ceiling and mountains of wrapping paper everywhere. Naked flames do not mix well with wood and paper. All it takes is for a draught to divert the flame, a pet to knock over a candle, a card to fall off the mantel or decorations to come loose and fly about. One minute you have the perfect festive scene, the next a raging inferno.
If you are going to feature candles in your home at any time of year, but particularly at Christmas, it is crucial that you follow some simple guidelines to keep you, your family and your house safe from disaster. Never leave a lighted candle unattended, position your candles well away from any flammable materials, ensure that your candles are stable, keep them out of the reach of children and pets and take care to extinguish them fully before leaving the room. Stand candles well away from any draughts, make sure there is somewhere for hot wax to safely collect and do not put candles on your Christmas tree if you don’t want a forest fire rampaging through your living room!
This probably all sounds a bit obvious which it is really but clearly people get careless with their candles because house fires are so common. People get seriously hurt and even killed every year because of the humble candle so make sure you are not one of them. Remember it only takes a second!
Sally Stacey is a professional writer and small business owner with an interest in home decor and safty in the home.