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Candle Safety Day TODAY, Fire Marshall Urges Caution Around Holidays

MASSACHUSETTS – State fire officials and lawmakers will mark today, Monday, December 12, 2011 as Candle Safety Day. The day has been set aside each year to promote the safe use of candles in the Commonwealth.

It’s hard to believe, but candle safety is really an overlooked issue. They are a cause of home fires. The cause of deaths. No matter how many precautions you take, candles often are left in precautions where they can ultimately ignite so many combustible items.

State fire officials are reminding residents to always blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed. As further precaution, avoid the use of candles in the bedroom when you may be more prone to fall asleep. Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn.

Always use candle holders that are sturdy, and won’t tip over easily, and be sure to put candle holders on a sturdy, uncluttered surface.

State Fire Marshal Coan said in a released statement, “Many of the holidays celebrated at this time of year use candles. Sadly, the increased candle use at this time of year causes a boost in candle fires. Candles are left burning unattended and children are left alone in rooms with burning candles. I can’t stress enough that candles should be blown out when you leave the room and children should always be supervised, especially when around burning candles.”

He added, “December 24 is the day on which the most candle fires occur, particularly due to candles burning too close to holiday decorations. I urge the community to practice safe candle use to keep your families safe.”

In 2010, candles caused 144 fires of all types, 11 civilian injuries, seven firefighter injuries, and an estimated dollar loss of $3.9 million in damages. There was an 11% from 2009, but a 52% decrease in Massachusetts since 2001.

The increased candle use during the holidays leads to more candle fires, according to officials. Between 2006 and 2010, the day of the year the most candle fires occurred was December 24, Christmas Eve, with 10 candle fires while October 31, Halloween, was a close second.

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