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Neosho Fire Department warns residents of dangers from candles

Staff Reports

The Neosho Fire Department is asking residents to do their part to to prevent residential fires.

Neosho Fire Marshal Scott Maness said many people use candles in their homes for several different things. Often, they are used for decorative purposes, many are scented to add a pleasant smell, or they may be used for religious purposes. Most often they are used for power outages. But since candles have an open flame, you must be careful when you use them.

When placing candles, make sure they are not in a place where they might be knocked over. Don’t place them near blinds or curtains and keep them away from other flammable objects such as furniture, mattresses, clothing, paper, books, and decorations. Make sure any candleholders are appropriately sized for the candle, are stable, and not made of plastic.

When lighting the candle, make sure the wick isn’t too long (a quarter of an inch is the recommended length). Don’t carry candles when using them (you might drop it), and if they are in a glass jar, allow it to cool before putting the lid back on them. Don’t let them burn all the way down (taper candles should have 2 inches left at the bottom, votive candles should have ½ inch left at the bottom). If possible, use a candle snuffer to put out the candle.

And of course, like matches and lighters, keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.

When possible, consider using a flashlight or other battery-operated lights if possible, especially for lighting when the power is out. When it’s dark, it’s hard to see, and you could start a fire if you should accidentally knock over a candle in the dark. Candles may not seem like a big deal, but they can start a fire.