Don't let fire get on your wick this candle safety week

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An average of 144 candle related incidents happen each year with around 53 people being injured.


The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) would like you to stay safe this winter and take this opportunity to remind you not to let fire get on your wick during Candle Safety Week (23-29 November).

With the dark days and winter upon us, a few candles round the room can lend a warm glow to an evening.  It’s important, however, to remember that a candle is not just a decorative feature. Left unattended, what is after all an open flame in your home could leave a trail of devastation.

An average of 144 candle related incidents happen each year with around 53 people being injured.

Whether you are using candles to scent or decorate your home please remember to extinguish them before you go to sleep and never leave them unattended. 

Taking these simple precautions will reduce the likelihood of a fire starting however, should the worst happen, having working smoke alarms and a plan of what you and your family should do in the event of a fire will undoubtedly save lives.
We urge every household to have working smoke alarms and test them every week.

We provide free home fire safety visits and fit smoke alarms where required.  If you know someone who can benefit from our service, why not get them to give us a call?

To request a home fire safety visit, call the SFRS freephone number: 0800 0731 999, text “FIRE” to 80800, or visit the website at

Candles pose a real threat to life if misused. Follow our top tips to make sure you, your family and home stay safe from fire:


  • Put candles in a proper candlestick holder – the heavier it is at the bottom the better because it won’t tip over
  • Make sure the candle fits the holder tightly so it doesn’t fall or get knocked over by accident
  • Put candlestick holders on a flat, stable, heat-resistant surface
  • Keep candles out of winds and draughts
  • Keep candles clear of clothes, curtains, cushions, papers and other things that burn easily
  • Always put them out properly before leaving the room – use a metal snuffer or wet your fingers and pinch the wick where the flame starts
  • Keep candles, matches and lighters out of reach of children and NEVER place candles where they can get knocked over by children or pets.


  • Leave a lit candle alone – even for a few seconds
  • Lean across a lit candle – you could set your hair or clothes on fire
  • Place on soft furnishings (like cushions) or plastic (like TVs, baths that are made of plastic (acrylic). Even acrylic toilets can melt and cause a fire!
  • Put candles on shelves – they can heat up the shelf above and cause a fire
  • Put them on top of heaters or in the middle of the mantelpiece. An unlit candle can melt in the heat below and catch fire
  • Use them if you’ve been drinking alcohol or feel sleepy

For more information see our website: /your-safety/festive-safety/candles.aspx