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CANDLE SAFETY | Tips from the experts

Published: Sun, February 9, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.

Follow the directions on the candle label.
Burn candles only in well-ventilated rooms, but keep them away from drafts and air vents.
Don't cluster lighted candles too closely. They should be at least three inches apart.
Use the correct type of candleholder, and place it on a sturdy, stable and heat-resistant surface.
Place candles where children and pets can't get to them.
As a general rule, stop burning a pillar candle when 2 inches of wax remains. Stop burning a container candle when half an inch remains. Follow the label directions if they differ from these.
Never move a container candle, including votives, while the wax is liquid.
Do not continue to burn a smoky or flickery candle. Let it cool, trim the wick and relight. If it still smokes or flickers, return it to place of purchase.
Buy wicks without lead, which can emit toxic fumes when burned. Ninety percent of candles made in the United States -- and all candles made by members of the National Candle Association -- do not have lead wicks. Some imports may contain lead, however. Tin or zinc in the element is not toxic.
Keep lighted candles in sight; never leave them unattended.
Move candles away from flammable items, such as curtains and blinds, before lighting.
Trim the wick to 1/4 inch each time you light.
Keep matches, wick trimmings and other debris out of the wax.
Don't burn candles with flammable adornments -- such as dried flowers or pine twigs -- in or on the wax. Use those only as decorations.
When using candles during a power outage, do not use them when searching through an enclosed space or when checking pilot lights. If possible, don't carry lighted candles around at all.

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