West Sussex firefighters warn about candle safety

FIREFIGHTERS in West Sussex are asking people to snuff out the risk of fire in their homes.

With more than 50 fires started nationally by candles every day, as part of Candle Fire Safety Week West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is asking people to take extra care with candles this winter.

Between October and February every year candle-related house fires rise sharply, peaking at more than double the summer average in December.

Jackie Boyle, community risk reduction officer, said: “Candles are a typical sight in many homes, scenting our rooms and giving an atmospheric glow to cold winter nights. But it’s important to remember that a candle is not just another piece of furniture. Left unattended, an open flame scenting your home could leave a trail of devastation.

“It’s so important to think about where you are placing your lit candles, they should always be away from curtains and out of the reach of pets and children. Most importantly, remember to extinguish your candles if you leave the room, even if it’s only for a moment - it only takes a moment for a fire to start.”

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service offers the following advice when using candles:

. Never leave a burning candle unattended

. Always place candles and tea lights well away from curtains, furniture or flammable materials and always out of draughts

. Always place candles upright in suitable holders on a stable surface

. Keep candles out of reach of children and pets

. Never put tea lights on top of TV sets or other plastic surrounds like baths

. Ensure that tea lights and candles are placed in suitable heat resistant holders

. Test It Tuesday! Working smoke alarms save lives - so test yours each week

For a full range of home fire safety advice call the community risk reduction team on 01243 642878 or visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire.