Back to blog home

How to decorate with candles – safely!

How to decorate with candles – safely!

The twinkling light and homely scent of burning candles are a surefire way to lift the spirits during the dreary winter months. So much so, that more than 25% of British households regularly buy scented candles!

However, before you rush off to to fill your basket with these twinkling delights, please make sure your plans involve setting up your candles safely, as not doing so can have devastating and potentially fatal repercussions.  In 2016/17 there were over 1,000 fires in the UK caused by candles, and 35% of these resulted in injury or death.

The main cause of the fire claims we see at Policy Expert is candles being left to burn unattended, so please take care!

To make sure you’re not putting your home at risk from fires, we’ve put together some simple advice on using candles safely.

The dos and don’ts of candle safety:

  • Always put candles on a heat resistant surface, like ceramic or glass.  Don’t leave candles on plastic surfaces like televisions, as they can easily melt.
  • Put candles in a candle proper candle holder. Ensure both the candle and the holder remain upright and stable.
  • Always keep candles away from curtains and drafts. Never put candles on windowsills.
  • Candles produce a lot of heat, so ensure there is plenty of room above them. Never put candles under shelves or cupboards.
  • When lighting candles, make sure you keep clothes and hair out of the way.
  • Candles should be out of reach of children and pets at all times.
  • Keep at least four inches (10cm) candles apart from each other.
  • Take care with scented candles, as these turn to liquid to release their fragrance which can be extremely hot.
  • Don’t leave candles burning unattended or when you go to sleep.
  • Take particular care not to splash hot wax when extinguishing candles.
  • Always make sure candles are completely out, as smouldering candles can still cause fires.

Policy Expert

Here at Policy Expert, our dedicated customer service team is always on hand to help – either online or over the phone. Whether you want assistance in finding the right policy or even handling a claim, we make sure it’s all handled by experts. For more information, you can call our experts on 0330 0600 600 or visit for more ways to reach us.


Published 15 January 2015