Video: Don't Let Your Menorah Candles or Christmas Tree Burn Your House Down, Okay?
Yes, it's that time of year again. Second only in holiday-themed horror to safety footage of Halloween costumes bursting into flames comes the perils of dangerous merry-making, like menorah candles next to the curtains and a Christmas tree that never gets watered.
The Los Angeles Fire Department sent out a warning this week about safe candle use, warning that "[c]andles cause 4% of all home fires in our country and an alarming 6% of home fire deaths. More than one-third of home candle fires start in bedrooms, where 44% of candle associated deaths and half of associated injuries occur."
They've given these tips for candle use during the holidays:
For those observing Chanukah: # Place the Menorah in a safe, secure, and well watched area.
# Never place a lit Menorah near curtains, shades, tablecloths, plants, books, or under counters.
# Do not put the Menorah on an unsteady table or surface.
# Avoid leaving the Menorah unattended when burning.
# Do not have open flame if medical oxygen is being used in the home.
# Make sure any oil used for the Menorah is stored in a stable holder, well removed from the flame or heat source.
# Adult supervision is essential when children light the Menorah.
# Assure that infants, toddlers and pets are unable to reach or access the Menorah.
# Store matches and lighters up high and out of children's sight and reach, preferably in a locked cabinet.
For other uses, the Los Angeles Fire Department suggests safer alternatives to candles. If candles must be used:
* Extinguish all candles when leaving a room or going to sleep.
* Keep candles at least 12" away from any flammable items, including areas cluttered with holiday decorations - and especially distant from children and pets.
* Don’t burn a candle all the way down — put it out before it gets too close to the holder or container.
* Use sturdy non-combustible candle holders that won't tip over easily and are large enough to collect dripping wax.
* Don't place lit candles in or near windows, blinds and curtains.
* No one should sleep in a room with a lit candle.
* Store candles, matches and lighters up high and out of children's sight and reach, preferably in a locked cabinet.
* Never use a candle if medical oxygen is used in the home.
* Don't use a lit candle when searching for items in a confined space or checking pilot lights or fueling equipment.
* Have flashlights and battery-powered lighting ready to use during a power outage. Never use candles for emergency lighting.
* And finally, please consider gifts other than candles this holiday season!