Romantic not Frantic

State Farm® cautions consumers when using candles

Bloomington, Il, February 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — It’s an image straight out of a romantic movie: A room decorated with beautiful flowers. The dinner table is set for two. The seductive glow of flickering candles throughout the room complete the romantic mood. Many couples will commemorate Valentine’s Day with a scene like this without realizing the potential dangers of improper candle use. State Farm wants to remind you that, while decorative and fragranced candles may be an attractive addition to your home décor, if used improperly, they can be a serious fire hazard.

State Farm claims data shows that February is the third highest month for home fires, with 14,517 home fire claims (excluding lightning and grease fire claims) from 2006 – 2010. On Valentines’ Day alone, State Farm has received more than 500 home fire-related claims during this same five-year period. While not all of these fires can be attributed to candles, it does serve as reminder to be cautious with an open flame. The fact is that more than one-third of home candle fires are started in the bedroom. Most candle fires are caused by combustibles being too close to the candle, such as drapes. The next common cause is when candles are knocked over by wind, doors, children or pets.

One of the most important ways to reduce your risk of a home fire due to candles is to never leave a candle unattended. Always keep burning candles within sight and use candles only in rooms where there is a responsible adult to control and oversee the flame. Consider these additional tips to reduce your risk of a destructive candle fire:

  • Extinguish all candles when leaving a room or before going to sleep and do not use candles in sleeping areas.
  • Keep candles away from combustibles such as clothing, books, decorations, window blinds, and curtains.
  • Keep candles away from high-traffic areas where they can be easily knocked over, including any area accessible to children or pets.
  • Place candles on stable surfaces in non-tip holders that grip the candle.
  • Place candles in holders that can’t burn and are big enough to collect dripping wax.
  • A safer alternative to open flame candles are battery-operated flameless candles.

Contact Heather Paul, Public Affairs at 309-766-0922 for media inquiries.