Caution on candles and fireworks

Use candles with careFestive candles and New Year fireworks are highlighted in safety warnings from Cleveland Fire Brigade.

People are reminded of the dangers and to be careful during the seasonal festivities. Two recent house fires were both started by candles.

A bedroom in Saltburn was severely damaged after an ornamental candle was too close to curtains and in Redcar there was slight damage after candles set alight Christmas cards.

Phil Lancaster, Director of Community Protection at Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: “Candles are very popular at this time of the year as they can create a nice warm glow in the home to add to the spirit of Christmas.  But these incidents show how dangerous they can be and they should be   handled with care and caution.

“The same can be said for the ever-growing tradition of setting off fireworks to herald the start of another year.  The safest way is to buy ones which comply with British Standard BS7114 and follow the Firework Code.”

Top safety tips for candle safety are:

  • Never leave candles unattended
  • Never put them under shelves or other enclosed spaces
  • Keep them away from curtains, furniture or anything else that can catch fire
  • Keep candles out of reach of children or pets
  • Put your candles in a suitable fire resistant candleholder.
  • Make sure the candleholder  holds candles firmly and is on a flat and stable surface to stop it falling over
  • Put the candleholder on a heat resistant surface
  • Leave at least 10cm (4 inches) between burning candles
  • Use a candle “snuffer” to put them out. Blowing can send sparks and hot wax flying.

The Firework Code

  • Keep fireworks in a closed box
  • Follow the instructions on each firework
  • Light all fireworks at arm’s length
  • Stand well back
  • Keep pets indoors
  • Never go back to a lit firework
  • Never put fireworks in your pocket
  • Never throw fireworks
  • Do not drink alcohol if setting off fireworks.