We all know there’s nothing that sets a mood better than the flicker of candlelight. Halloween is a season that relies on candles to help make the ordinary spooky – casting long shadows, the flickering grimace of a jack-o-lantern on a porch, or creating dim light and darkened corners. When lit, shadows dance, imaginations run wild, and the impossible seems just a little more possible when accompanied by the magic of candlelight.
Recent studies show the use of candles increases in the fall, and during the Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas seasons. So, with Halloween right around the corner, now is an excellent time to review some general rules on burning candles safely:
- Never leave a candle unattended. If you’re leaving a room or going to bed, always extinguish your candle first.
- Keep candles far from anything flammable – curtains, paper, books, or flammable decorations included. This is especially important on Halloween when we drape webbing and sheets around rooms as part of the holiday décor.
- Always keep candles out of reach of small hands and paws. Children and pets can be fascinated by candles so be sure to put your lit candles where they cannot be knocked over out of curiosity or by accident.
- Be sure to use an approved holder for your candles. Holders need to be heat resistant and sturdy. Be sure your holder is large enough to contain any melting wax or drips.
- Place candles on sturdy, level, heat resistant surfaces. Not only will this help to curb the possibility of a fire, but it will also protect your belongings (tables/counters) from heat damage.
- Keep your candle wicks trimmed. Trim back wicks to ¼ inch before burning. Longer wicks produce larger flames which can increase the chance of fire.
- Keep candles away from drafty areas – vents, open windows, or fans – this will keep the flames from fanning and burning too quickly or unevenly.
- Never move a votive or candle holder before the melted wax has cooled.
- Never burn too many candles in a small area with little air exchange. This can cause a rise in CO2 levels.
- Never use water to extinguish a candle. Use an approved candle snuffer to safely extinguish your candle flames.
- Always follow the candle manufacturer’s instructions for burning and safety.
So by all means, scare the little ones by casting spooky shadows; create the perfect ambiance for tricks and treats. By following these general safety rules, you can be sure to create a safe, spooky, magical, and mysterious Halloween for all your little trick-or-treaters.