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One of the eight most common causes of home fires.

Here is one of the eight most common causes of house fires as identified by the National Fire Protection Association.

Who doesn’t love the romantic, soothing and relaxing glow of candlelight? We all enjoy the fragrance and warmth of candles however lighting candles and leaving the room, even for a short period of time, can invite disastor. During the period of 2007-2011, the NFPA claims there were an average of 10,630 fires in the U.S. that were initiated by candles. These fires caused a total of 115 deaths, 903 injuries and approximately $420 million in property damage. That equates to an alarming 29 candle fires in the USA each and every day.

About one-third of these fires started in bedrooms which is where most people tend to retreat to at the end of a hard day of work. The candles and the fragrance can provide a soothing relaxing ambiance to rest. Unfortunately, many times people will fall asleep and not be aware of a candle that is becoming dangerous and a fire hazard as it burns lower and lower. Candle fires in bedrooms cause 39% of the associated deaths and 45% of the associated injuries because people fall asleep and no longer are aware of the dangerous surroundings until it is too late. . More than half of all candle fires start because of candles that were left too close to flammable items such as blankets, curtains, papers and clothing. For safety's sake, they should always be kept at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn. They should also be place on a non flammable base such as a ceramic dish or plate.

Other causes of candle fires include leaving them unattended in a room or someone playing with the candles. Even something as simple as knocking a candle over when someone bumps a table they're sitting on or a pet brushing against one is enough to spark a fire.

There are more candle fires in December and January, and the top three days for fires are Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Here are some safety tips regarding the use of candles in your home:
Never leave a candle burning near flammable items.
Never leave a candle burning in a child’s room or an unoccupied room.
Make sure candles fit securing into candle holders so they won’t tip over.
Blow out any candles before leaving a room or going to sleep.

It is sometime a smart idea to set an alarm that will go off every 20 minutes so taht it will awake you and alert you to check if a candle is becoming a hazardous situation.