Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Serious fire highlights the importance of candle safety

A serious fire in Brighton has highlighted the dangers behind a seemingly innocent tea light.

Just last week, a woman was taken to hospital following a fire at a property in Park Crescent Terrace. Early indications show that the fire was caused by a tea light left burning on the floor that had set light to the bedding, causing a serious fire.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used a hose reel to quickly bring the fire under control.

A woman in her fifties had to be treated in hospital after receiving serious injuries, as a result of the fire.

She was taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton for treatment.

This week marks the start of Candle Fire Safety Week whereby Fire and Rescue Services from across the country are asking people to take care and snuff out the risk of fire in their homes.

Head of Community Safety, David Kemp, said: “This incident is a particularly poignant reminder of exactly how dangerous candles and tea lights can be if not used in the correct way.

“It’s very tempting with these dark nights and winter setting in to scatter candles round the room. More than 40% of all fires started by candles can result in death or injury.

“A top priority is to fit your home with a working smoke alarm and ensure that candles are kept well away from any flammable materials, such as curtains, and always put them out when you leave the room, even for a moment.  Left unattended, an open flame scenting your home could leave a trail of devastation.”

To enjoy candles safely please follow these safety tips:

Never leave lit candles unattended. Put burning candles out when you leave the room, and make sure they’re out completely at night. 
Place your candles carefully. Make sure they are on a stable surface, out of the reach of pets and children, and keep them away from flammable objects like curtains, furniture, bedding and books. 
Don’t move candles once they are lit.
Do not burn several candles close together as this might cause the flame to flare 

Burn candles in a well-ventilated room, out of drafts, vents or air currents. This will help prevent rapid or uneven burning, soot, and dripping.   

Always put scented candles in a heat resistant holder. These candles are designed to liquify when heated to maximise fragrance. 
Fit a smoke alarm and test it regularly. A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999.
Make sure that everyone in your home knows what to do if a fire should occur– practice your escape route.

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