London Fire Brigade

Seasonal candle fires, a burning issue

01 December 2014

We're warning Londoners to take care this festive season after new figures show blazes started by candles increase by a massive 38%*  between November and January.

Shocking statistics

An average of 21 candle fires a month between February and October, this number rises dramatically to 29  fires a month during November, December and January.

Candles are one of the biggest causes of fires in the home - during 2013/2014  six people died and 61 people were injured in fires started by candles.

We're concerned that people using tea-lights as part of their Christmas decorations could  be putting themselves and their families at risk if they don’t follow our  advice.

Top candle safety tips

1. Always place your candles  in a suitable fire resistant candleholder.
2. Always put the candleholder on a heat resistant surface like a ceramic plate.
3. Keep candles away from Christmas trees, curtains or anything else that could catch fire

Find out more about naked flames in the home

What we say

Community Safety Group Manager Mark Hazelton, said: “At this time of year many people will be lighting candles as part of their festive decorations but if you don’t use them safely it could spell disaster for you and your family.

“ You should always make sure candles are placed in a proper holder on an even, heat resistant surface and that they are kept well away from anything that could catch fire like clothing or curtains. Mixing candles and too much alcohol  can also be  catastrophic so don’t use them if you’ve had a lot to drink.”

If there is a fire in your home never try and tackle it yourself. Always get out, stay out and call 999. You should also have a smoke alarm fitted to every level of your home and test it regularly.

*The statistics are based on average figures for candle fires over the last three years