Man injured in fire caused by candles

18 December 2011

Firefighters have renewed their plea for people to be careful with candles after a man was injured on Friday night.

He suffered burns to his hands after trying to put out a fire caused by tea light candles in his living room.

Two crews from Great Holm were called to the incident in Turneys Drive, Wolverton Mill, at 10.16pm.

The man had fallen asleep after placing about 15 tea light candles on a piece of cardboard on a coffee table.

Watch Manager Lee Bloom from Great Holm Fire Station said: "What was even more worrying was that there were no smoke alarms in his home."

Firefighters used a fan to clear the smoke, and fitted smoke alarms before leaving.

It's the second time in a week that firefighters in Milton Keynes have been called to a fire caused by tea light candles burning out of control. On Friday 9 December, a fire started in a flat in Witan Gate East, Central Milton Keynes, after the occupant left a candle unattended on a coffee table.

Firefighters are asking people to remember the following safety tips:

  • Never leave candles unattended, and put them out completely at night.
  • Keep them away from draughts and anything that can easily catch fire, such as furniture or curtains.
  • Always place candles in a sensible holder or container on a heat-resistant surface. Nightlights and tea-lights can melt plastic surfaces like TV tops and bathtubs.
  • Keep candles out of reach of children and pets.
  • Don't lean across candles - you could set fire to your clothes or hair.
  • Mind the gap - don't put candles under shelves or other surfaces.
  • Always put out candles before you move them.
  • Always leave at least four inches (10cm) between two burning candles.
  • Use a glass or metal holder for scented candles, which turn into liquid to release their fragrance.
  • Don't let candles fall over. Keep them firmly upright in a proper holder.
  • Don't let anything (for example matchsticks) fall into the hot wax.
  • Use a snuffer or a spoon to put candles out. It's safer than blowing them out, which can send sparks and hot wax flying.