Taking care with candles

As the evenings get colder and darker many people like to make their homes more cosy in the evenings by lighting a few candles.
But, in the UK, there are over 150 serious fires each year that are caused by candles.

To make sure that you are not a victim of a candle fire make sure you adhere to the following advice:

– Never leave burning candles unattended. Put burning candles out when you leave the room, and make sure they’re completely out at night.

– Always place your candles/tea lights in a suitable fire resistant candleholder.

– Always put the candleholder on a heat resistant surface like a ceramic plate (tea lights can melt plastic surfaces such as the top of a television or side of a bath).

– Place candles carefully. Make sure they are on a stable surface, out of reach of pets and children, and keep them away from flammable objects like curtains, furniture, bedding and books.

– Don’t move candles once they have been lit.

– Burn candles in a well ventilated room, out of draughts, vents or air currents. This will help prevent rapid or uneven burning, soot and dripping.

– Always leave at least four inches (10cm) between burning candles/tea lights and never place them under shelves or other enclosed spaces. Make sure there’s at least three feet (one metre) between a candle and any surface above it.

– It is recommended that a candle ‘snuffer’ or a metal spoon be used to put the candle/tea light out.

And make sure that you are protected by a smoke alarm and have a fire extinguisher in the house should items in the house catch fire.

Have you got a carbon monoxide alarm?

As winter approaches heating systems and appliances are being fired up all over the country.  It’s time to consider whether you are taking all the necessary precautions against carbon monoxide poisoning.

Around 50 people a year die from the effects of carbon monoxide and many more are hospitalised. By taking the right precautions most of these could be avoided.

Firstly, we would urge people to have their gas boilers and any other fuel burning appliances regularly serviced and chimneys swept. Then get a carbon monoxide alarm installed. This is important even if you have carried out all the necessary maintenance.  There even have been incidences where poisonings have occurred when the deadly gas has seeped in from an adjoining property.

As we do our best to keep our energy bills down homes have much better insulation and draught protection. Remember though that while this keeps the cold out it will also keep any deadly fumes in.

Fitting a CO alarm will give you the peace of mind that you and your family will be safe this winter. Just ensure that you follow the instructions, test it in line with the instructions and make sure you replace the battery when required.