Fire Caused By Candle Sparks Need For Safety Review

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UPDATED: Thursday February 13, 2014 4:42 PM

A fire that took place this past December was ruled accidental. However, it is revealed that the fire was ignited by a candle.

Frank Conway, from the Ohio State Marshal’s Office, talked about candles.

“We forget that we've got an open flame there, that it's a source of fire,” he said. The results in this case were devastating. Children were being thrown from the third floor of the home to safety.

Multiple families were displaced, with some suffering total loss from the fire.

“The total dollar amount over the last 5 years was close to $20 million in the state of Ohio alone, from candle fires,” said Conway.

On average across the state one can expect about $15,000 in damage for every candle-caused fire. Most of these incidents happen when combustible materials are too close to the candle.

This means it is important to keep a safe distance and be sure that the candle fits in the holder properly and has a base that won’t tip over.

More than a third of all home candle fires begin in the bedroom.

This, compounded by falling asleep with a candle burning, is becoming an alarming issue.

These candle based fires are raising concern lately for Columbus Fire Department lieutenant David Sawyer.

Sawyer said that most candles’ flames burn around 1200 degrees Fahrenheit which is hot enough to melt glass.

“That’s really the apprehension I have of that lotus candle. Because if you do not place it in the cake right or on the table cloth right and it tips over, now you have a fire, and then how do you react?” asked Sawyer.

Sawyer gave steps to take if you have a fire:

- Escape first, then call for help
- Designate a meeting spot
- Once out, stay out

The last important preventive tip and to avoid a tragedy in the first place is to simply extinguish the flame before walking away.

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