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Let candles safely accent your holiday celebration

Scented, tall, round or square, many consumers are using candles as a source to highlight holiday décor. While these adornments add ambiance to a room, they also pose a safety hazard for many homes.

Candles were the number one heat source for the majority of the 17,200 house fires reported, according to the most recent statistics available. The popular household item caused an estimated 200 deaths, 1,540 injuries and $200 million in direct property damage, according to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) research.

That's why UL and the NFPA remind consumers to practice safety precautions when using candles year round, not just during the holidays.

Following are some tips consumers can use to practice candle safety whether they are using them for Jack-o-Lanterns or Menorahs.

  • Keep candles away from items that easily catch fire, such as decorations, window treatments, paper, wreaths and boughs.

  • Place candles in an area where they cannot be knocked over by children or pets.

  • Only use sturdy, non-combustible candleholders that securely grip the candle and won't tip over.

  • If a candle does not have a container, extinguish it when two inches of wax remain. If the candle has its own container, put it out when it burns down to a half-inch. This will protect table tops and prevent glass containers from burning.

  • Always keep lighters and matches away from children and pets. Never leave children unattended in a room with lit candles.

  • Remember to extinguish candles before falling asleep or leaving the room.