As we begin to experience colder weather, thoughts naturally turn to feeling cosier – and what better way to feel cosy than by lighting a scented candle and thanking your stars that you are indoors!

So, the magic of scented candles if not in doubt – but the extent to which they can be dangerous is often underestimated and at a time of year when thoughts turn to using them more for events, or simply for chilling out, the importance of highlighting this comes more into focus.

  • Ensure candles are not left burning alone and are completely extinguished before retiring for the night or leaving a property unmanned
  • Ensure candles are left on stable services and kept out of reach of pets and children
  • Keep candles away from flammable objects such as furniture and bedding
  • Do not burn candles close together as this can cause their flames to flare and create greater risk

Here are some startling statistics that bring the importance of following this guidance, into focus:

  • In the last 10 years, 8,400 fires were caused by candles
  • In the last 10 years, 87 fires caused fatalities with the mist being in Greater London (24)
  • In the last 10 years, 2,850 fires caused injuries with the mist being in Greater London (768)

Enjoyment is at the heart of using candles, so it is crucial that this enjoyment is paralleled with safety awareness, especially given recent government figures that show that out of all the fires candles cause, casualties and fatalities are particularly high – demonstrating the increased fire risk that candles encompass.

There is also a point to make around the capacity of our emergency services, where prevention is concerned. If a particular accident or fire could have been prevented through this awareness, then it takes away from them being able to focus on an incident that could not have been prevented. Consumers therefore have an increased responsibility to be more proactive because of this and seek to do everything in their power to protect themselves and this scarce capacity where emergency services are concerned. 

The increasing popularity of a vegan lifestyle is also playing a role here, as it is driving product choices throughout more than food and drink, including household items such as candles. Even where safety awareness has been a consideration to date, for those that are excited by following this lifestyle for the first time, this can easily be forgotten – making it even more important to reiterate the importance of safety in the rush to adopt a fashionable and popular way of living.

Running parallel with this is a March 2019 report released by Vend, the preferred retail point-of-sale software of the British Independent Retail Association, whose research has endorsed an increase in candle purchases over the past few years and at the point when we move into colder months. They surveyed 1,001 consumers to discover what is behind the candle craze. Over two in five (42%) respondents said they buy candles to make their house smell better, and more than one third (36%) said a candle relaxed them. A similar number (34%) said that burning a candle at home made them feel cosier – so when seeking support for further promoting the need to be safety aware when using candles, then this certainly fits the bill.

As we enter colder months of Autumn and Winter, the number of annual events such as Halloween, Bonfire Night and Christmas, naturally bring the opportunity to use candles for social events, or simply to chill out at home. Again, it is important not to get lost in the excitement of celebrating and let safety slip down the priority list. If anything, this is a time to be even more aware than usual and ensure that consumers – and often, as we move into winter – their family and guests, are properly protected and allowed to enjoy the candle season safely.

Understanding the Candle Fires Data

Top 10 Total Fires Caused from Candles by Region

Do not let fire hazards get on your wick, as 8,400 candle fires are reported annually 1

Top 10 Total Fatalities Caused from Candles by Region

Do not let fire hazards get on your wick, as 8,400 candle fires are reported annually 2

Top 10 Total Injuries Caused from Candles by Region

Do not let fire hazards get on your wick, as 8,400 candle fires are reported annually 3