Candle burning safety tips

An apartment fire in Ishpeming Wednesday afternoon was due to a burning candle that was left unattended.

Candles are one of the biggest causes of residential fires.  More than half of candle fires started due to combustible material that was left too close to a candle.

It is important to remember to never leave a burning candle unattended, even if you leave the room for a short amount of time.

“If you’re burning candles, stay in the same room, don’t leave the room,” Ishpeming Fire Chief Ed Anderson said.  “Make sure there’s no combustible materials within three feet, especially above a candle.  Sometimes people don’t think to look above the candle and there’s some drapery or some combustible items above a candle that they don’t really think about.”

Anderson also said even having a candle in a glass or enclosed container has the potential to start a fire.

“We’ve run into cases when we’ve had people with candles in glass jars, and the glass jars have actually fractured, broken and caused fires,” Anderson said.  “Just because it (a candle) is in an enclosed glass container it’s still possible for a fire hazard.

Make sure you have smoke detectors in every room of your home or apartment.  Check the batteries in the detectors, and the smoke detectors themselves, are working.