Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is reminding people to take care with candles after a bedroom fire last night (5 December).

Fire crews were called to a property in Swindon, where a candle had been allowed to burn down inside a glass holder which was placed on top of a satellite television box. Because the candle burned right down, the glass holder overheated and broke.

Station Manager Greg Izon said: “Fortunately, the occupier returned home before going to work, so discovered the fire and raised the alarm. As such, the damage was contained to the bedroom, but it could have been a lot worse. You should extinguish candles when you leave the room, always make sure none are still burning if you are leaving the house or going to sleep, and only ever use correct holders on solid surfaces.”

The Service has the following advice for the safe use of candles:

  • Never leave lit candles unattended. Put burning candles out when you leave the room, and make sure they’re out completely at night.
  • Place your candles carefully. Make sure they are on a stable surface, out of the reach of pets and children, and keep them away from flammable objects like curtains, furniture, bedding and books. Never place on baths, televisions, set-top boxes or anything else plastic.
  • Don’t move candles once they are lit, and don’t let them burn right down.
  • Don’t burn several candles close together as this might cause the flame to flare.
  • Burn candles in a well-ventilated room, out of drafts, vents or air currents. This will help prevent rapid or uneven burning, soot and dripping.
  • Always put scented candles in a heat resistant holder. These candles are designed to liquefy when heated to maximise fragrance.
  • Fit smoke alarms on every level of your home and test them regularly. A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time.
  • Make sure that everyone in your home knows what to do if a fire should occur, including practising your escape routes.

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service offers free Safe & Well visits – to see if you are eligible, call free on 0800 038 2323. More home fire safety advice can be found at www.dwfire.org.uk/safety

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