December 13th is officially Candle Safety Day in Massachusetts!
Make everyday Candle Safety Day!
- Always be cautious when using candles
- Keep candles away from combustibles.
- Never leave candles unattended.
Battery operated candles are always a better option!
Governor Charlie Baker has declared December 13 to be Candle Safety Day in Massachusetts, and State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey is reminding residents to follow safety guidelines as we enter the period when most candle fires start.
“There have been nearly 1,100 candle fires in Massachusetts over the past 10 years,” State Fire Marshal Ostroskey said. “More of these fires started in December than in any other month, and especially on the days leading up to Christmas. If candles are part of your celebration or decoration, be sure to use them carefully.”
State Fire Marshal Ostroskey offered the following safety tips to reduce the risk of fire:
- No matter the season, have working smoke alarms on every level of your home, outside bedrooms, at the top of open stairs, and at the base of cellar stairs. In homes built or modified since 1997, smoke alarms are required inside bedrooms as well.
- Keep a one-foot “circle of safety” around candles, free of anything that can burn.
- Always extinguish candles when you leave the room or go to sleep, and don’t leave them unattended.
- Use a non-combustible saucer or candleholder.
- Keep candles out of reach of children and pets, and store matches and lighters up high where kids can’t access them.
- Consider switching to battery-operated flameless candles.
There were 92 candle fires in Massachusetts last year, and 75 took place in residential settings. More than half of these fires started in a bedroom or living room, including a fatal fire in Revere during the early morning hours of Dec. 8, 2020. A candle ignited a cardboard box in the living room of a triple-decker, causing a fire that claimed the life of a 31-year-old man, injured two residents and a firefighter, and caused an estimated $1.1 million in damage.
“Candle fires peaked in Massachusetts in 1999, when we recorded 342 of them,” State Fire Marshal Ostroskey said. “The following year, we began observing Candle Safety Day on the second Monday of December to promote awareness of the problem. Since that time, we’ve observed a 73% decrease in candle fires. Let’s continue to practice safe candle use, especially around the holidays.”