Candle-Caused Fire Deaths And Injuries Soaring : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Thursday October 28 3:55 AM ET Candle-Caused Fire Deaths And Injuries Soaring BOSTON (Reuters) - Surging U.S. popularity and careless usage of candles pushed fires and deaths in 1997 to their highest levels in 18 years, the National Fire Protection Association said Thursday.

In 1997, the most recent year such numbers were available, some 11,600 U.S. home fires were caused by candles, causing 156 civilian deaths and 1,202 injuries. The year before, candles caused 9,930 home fires, 126 deaths and 1,140 injuries, the Quincy, Mass.-based nonprofit group said.

``Candle usage has been exploding, and it's clear that too many candle users do not know how to use them safely,'' said John Hall, assistant vice president of the NFPA.

In 1980, by comparison, 8,240 household fires were caused by candles, causing 32 deaths and 506 injuries, NFPA said.

Hall called on candle makers and fire safety officials to make candles safer to use, and to make users more aware of safe usage practices.

``I don't know how we do that,'' said Nancy McDermott, a spokeswoman for the National Candle Association in Washington, D.C. ``It takes a little common sense. People have to not keep candles burning in a room where children or pets are unsupervised.'' She added that many manufacturers already put cautionary labels on their candles.

The U.S. holiday season from October through January accounts for nearly half of all household candle fires in the United States, Hall said.

Nearly half of all household candle fires, or 44 percent, occur in bedrooms, with 19 percent in living rooms, 11 percent in bedrooms and 7 percent in kitchens.

Safer candles??????

-- Lynn Ratcliffe (, October 28, 1999


And that's why I recommend the Aladdin incandescent table lamp. (grin)

-- Stan Faryna (, October 28, 1999.

As I read this I thought, "Oh, my goodness...first they want the gun manufacturers to be responsible for how people misuse guns, now they want candlemakers to be responsible for how people misuse candles. This is surely the Big Brother approach carried to its insane extreme. If people do not know how to safely use ANYTHING, but particularly something as basic as CANDLES, for goodness sake, then they are responsible for their own demise.

Can you just imagine anyone asking candlemakers to do this when all people used were candles....LOL!!!

-- Elaine Seavey (, October 28, 1999.

"...candle use is exploding..." Poor choice of words.

-- Spidey (in@jam.tallow), October 28, 1999.

this is a hoot. not the fact that people are getting hurt with candles but that the media felt it was necessary to fearmonger the DANGERS of candles just before Y2K. so what is their point?

-- tt (, October 28, 1999.

This probably has much more to do with products like those from Party Lights. The products aren't really unsafe, although there are a few candle holders that I would avoid over others that they carry. But the net effect is they have increased the popularity of candles in a time when the average citizens ability to use a candle safely is diminished. It's what we call in the IT business "operator error". Call it a symptom of the spreading lack of common sense. The simple solution is a pamphlet on safe candle use. (It's an open flame. Duh.)

It's sad when we enter an era in which people can't use a simple candle saftly.

Watch six and keep your...

-- eyes_open (best@wishes.not), October 28, 1999.

Let's see, candles work by burning wax , that means fire.

A safer candle would be one that you can't light, or one that would burn only 'X' minutes (substitute bureaucratic decreed length of time for 'x') at a time.

Or better yet, a snuffing device attached to the candle, keyed to an implanted transmitter in a properly authorized adult, so that when the adult leaves the room, and/or brain waves indicate dozing or sleeping, the candle is automatically snuffed.

Seriously, folks, anyone who has not trained his rugrats to keep off the furniture and away from stoves, candles, etc., and/or lets her cats have the run of the house, and gets burned out -- GOOD! Evolution in action.

-- A (, October 28, 1999.

How much longer will we allow this horror to go on. We need to license candle users and establish 5 day waiting periods for candle purchase and use. We need to keep candles out of those who would abuse them, such as people looking for a romantic evening, or to provide light in their homes during a power outage...these people have got to be stopped.

-- Bryan (, October 28, 1999.

I dunno, if we limit candle usage by requiring background checks, aren't we just going to start an underground market for candles? I mean, if candles are outlawed, only outlaws will have candles.

Personally, I'll give up my candles when they pry them out of my cold, dead, slightly tacky and bayberry scented fingers.

-- bw (home@puget.sound), October 28, 1999.




-- liberace (candle@light.nite), October 28, 1999.

A house fire erupted here two hours into the last power outage because someone was trying to keep warm with candles. In times of stress, accidents happen more easily. In responding to my questions about their operability in the face of an extended power outage, our water company's director wrote, "The [two-day] supply of water in our tanks would be greatly affected if fires would occur. So this area would be of great concern."

I don't think it's such a bad idea to strip some of the glamour and romance from candles right now. They need to be seen as highly dangerous, adults-only tools.

Maybe we need to start pushing for the phrase "Be careful out there" to replace the automatons' "Have a nice day."

-- Faith Weaver (, October 28, 1999.

Posted on the preps forum:

From USAA members magazine.

"Never leave a burning candle unattended." It's a message you've heard so often that you might find it hard to believe that in 1996, the latest year for which statistics are available, candles caused a record 9,930 fires in homes. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), those fires resulted in 126 deaths and $170.6 million in property damages.

USAA Property Claims Administrator Mike Poehling has handled dozens of claims--some from major fires--that resulted from candles. Since 1990, candle fires have risen more than 80 percent nationwide. These days candles in all shapes, scents and sizes appear in bathrooms, kitchens and bedrooms, among other places. Sales figures, which have doubled in recent years, also suggest that candles are becoming more popular.

As candle usage grows, don't get careless. Follow these NFPA tips to enjoy your candles safely.

...Burn candles in the center of a 1-foot "circle of safety," away from anything that could ignite.

...Stop using a candle after it burns down to about half an inch.

...Extinguish candles before you leave the room or go to sleep.

...Keep wicks trimmed to one-fourth inch.

...Place candles on a secure piece of furniture and in sturdy holders that won't tip over.

...Use candle holders that are large enough to collect dripping wax.

...Don't place candles where they could be knocked over by children or pets.

...Don't use water to extinguish candles--or any fire involving burning wax. (Water can cause the wax to spatter and possibly sprad the flames.) Blow out candles or use a snuffer. In the event of a candle fire, evacuate everyone and call firefighters. Then, if the fire is small and containable, extinguish it with an ABC multipurpose fire extinguisher.

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-- Old Git (, October 23, 1999

-- Old Git (, October 28, 1999.

First we need to stop the sale of those high capacity assault candles like menorahs and advent wreaths. After all, no one needs more than one or two candles...

-- biker (, October 28, 1999.

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