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Could Candles Pose a Safety Risk for Your Family This Holiday Season?

During Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s Eve, many people use candles to commemorate the holidays and decorate for the season. Lighting candles is fun a tradition and sets the mood for your holiday festivities, but it is important that certain precautions are taken so that your holidays do not end in injury or tragedy.

Home Fires

 According to statistics from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), from 2009 to 2013, fire departments in the U.S. responded to 9,300 home structure fires started by candles. Those fires resulted in the deaths of 86 people, numerous injuries, and hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage.

The NFPA’s most recent report shows that:

  • Around 36% of home candle fires started in bedrooms.
  • Falling asleep with a candle burning was a factor in 11% of the home candle fires.
  • About 58% of home candle fires occurred when candles were left burning too close to combustible material.
  • December is the peak season for home candle fires. During December, the number of home candle fires that begin with decorations is 11%, compared to 4% during the rest of the year.

Decorating with Candles — Find a Substitute

If your decorating traditions involve putting lit candles on a Christmas tree or in an unattended location, look for a substitute. Candles in Christmas trees are a major fire hazard and should never be placed there.

If you like to use candles in the windows and burn them during the night, consider using battery-operated or electric candles instead for a similar effect, but without the risk of a fire starting. There are battery-operated flameless candles available that can look, smell and feel just like real candles.

Scented Candles

 Candles are also popular this time of year to provide a festive fragrance in the house. If you like to keep a scented candle burning, make sure that it is in a sturdy, non-flammable holder, that it is out of the reach of children, and that it is away from furniture and flammable materials like drapes, curtains and tablecloths.

Also, make sure you do not leave candles unattended. Blow out any candles before leaving the house or going to bed.

 Yankee Candle Product Recall

If you purchased a candle this fall from Yankee Candle’s Luminous Collection, be aware that Yankee Candle has issued a recall for dangerous products from this line. These candles are square glass candles with three wicks, and have been found to have a problem with cracking when lit, which can cause laceration injuries.

The recall includes the following scents and product numbers:

  • Sea Salt & Coral: 1535651
  • Blackberry & Sage: 1535890
  • Apple Blossom & Melon: 1535891
  • Sugarcane & Honey: 1535892
  • Pine & Sandalwood: 1535893
  • Cinnamon & Cedar: 1535894

If you have one of these candles, you should stop using it immediately. You can contact Yankee Candle for a full refund at 877-803-6890 or online at and click on “Luminous Candle Collection: Safety Notice.”

Don’t play with fire. Practice candle safety. The law firm of Grimes Teich Anderson LLP wishes you a happy and safe holiday season.

If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident as a result of someone else’s actions, let us help you. You may be entitled to receive compensation for the expenses and financial losses you incur as a result of the accident, as well as for your pain and suffering. Call us today or stop by our office. We serve Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina, including Asheville, Greenville, Spartanburg, Waynesville and Franklin.

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