Top Tips for Burning Candles Safely: A Safe Use Guide | Happy Piranha
As with all flammable objects, candles should be only used at your own discretion and risk. However, with careful use, these risks can be minimized extensively so that you can enjoy your scented candles in relative, relaxing safety.
Some of you may live in a castle and like the atmosphere or in the hills where the usual commodities aren't as reliable, but remember, our scented candles are for your enjoyment, not your survival.
That said, here's our top tips on safe candle use to help you maximize your enjoyment and be all safe and comfortable while doing so.
Because we wan't to keep you a Happy Piranha, and an Alive Piranha too!
Read the safety instructions
We know this sounds super obvious, but all caring candle companies should provide safety instructions on or with their products. It's a great start for finding out how to get the best and safest use out of your candles.
Different companies use different materials. If they've had their products properly tested they should have the best advice suited to that particular product.
Before lighting your scented candleBefore lighting your candle there are some things you should check. These checks and standards should be maintained whilst burning and during storage too.
Find a suitable surface
Before lighting your candle, make sure you place it on a suitable, sturdy and heat resistant surface.
- Whatever container you candle is in, it will get hot over time. You don't want to run the risk of marking or burning your lovely rosewood table.
- If you're burning your candle on a dish or stand, make sure it's sturdy and doesn't wobble. You don't want it to fall over and spill flammable wax on your mohair rug.
- Make sure your candle holder or container is wide enough to catch any dripping wax. Happy Piranha's candles are in tins, so this shouldn't be a problem if you don't move them while the wax is liquid.
Place multiple candles apart from one another
We suggest placing candles at least 3 inches apart from one another when burning.
- This will help avoid any compounding problems if something were to happen to any individual candle.
- Candles too close together can melt one another, or create drafts that cause uneven, enhanced or improper burning.
- Don’t burn too many candles in one room. It's never a good idea to have too many flammable objects in one place.
Keep away from other sources of heat
Other heat producing objects can cause the wax in your candle to melt or burn.
- Try to avoid storing or burning your candles near other heat sources such as fires and radiators.
- While burning this can cause a level of burning elevated above intended. While not burning it can melt the wax and cause uneven burning when you do light up.
Avoid scratching at the wax
Never use your nails, knives or other sharp objects to remove or play with wax. We know it's tempting... we know you think you're a wax magician, but no! Candles aren't for carving.
- Sharp objects can scratch or weaken the candle and container and compromise its structural integrity which could impede subsequent use.
- Altering the wax and wick position could cause uneven or sub standard burning.
Trim any long or uneven wicks
We suggest ¼ of an inch.
- Long or uneven wicks can cause uneven or sub-standard burning, or wax dripping.
Store in a cool, dark and dry place
- This will avoid melting and fading.
- Don't freeze candles, this can cause them to crack when defrosted or re-heated.
Keep away from flammable objects, pets and children
You don't want the dogs or children, or dogs that you call your children, knocking candles over and spilling hot wax onto a flammable surface.
- A young person should only burn candles with adult consultation and supervision.
- Place your candle where it can't be knocked over or moved by curious children and prying pets.
When burning your scented candle
When burning your scented candle here's some things you should remember. You should also keep in place the safety steps that you checked before burning your candle.
Never leave a burning candle unattended
If you're not in the room when a candle is burning what's the point in burning it anyway. It's also not very safe.
- Never let a burning candle out of sight, especially for long periods of time.
- Make sure there's someone respsonsible in the room to monitor the candle.
- If you need to get up and do something, extinguish the candle safely.
- Before leaving a candle make sure the wick isn't still glowing.
Don't burn for long periods of time
We suggest no longer than 4 hours at a time. Besides, you want to make it last!
- The longer you burn a candle for the hotter the wax and container may get and the larger the pool of wax.
- Burning for too long can drown the candle wick and impede subsequent use.
Keep the wax pool free of debris
Unwanted material in the wax pool can catch on fire. Remember what the pool life guard said about floaters.
- Make sure no alien objects are in the candles wax pool (the liquid wax on top of the candle) while burning.
- When removing debris, extinguish the flame and use an appropriate heat proof tool. Let the wax cool a little and don't use your delicate fingers!
- Avoid digging or scratching in the wax where possible.
Don't touch or move liquid wax
In this case, spillage isn't a good thing.
- Liquid wax can spill easily, is hot and can burn you. It's also very flammable.
- Spilt wax can dry on upholstery and other materials and become difficult to remove.
Keep away from drafts and air currents
- Keep your candle away form drafts, vents, fans and other air currents.
- They can cause uneven burning, flare ups and sooting.
- You also don't want debris blowing into your wax or flame.
Burn your candle in a well ventilated room.
Both candles and your lungs like clean air.
- Sufficient ventilation will provide your candle with the oxygen and air quality it needs to burn properly and avoid sooting.
- It will avoid build up of dust and debris in the air that can blow into your flame.
- It's also great to have a good air supply for your own, personal health.
Try not rely on your candle as a sole source of light
Don't be going all scrooge by using a candle as a nightlight up the stairs, or all Tudor by using them to light your whole house.
- Try not to rely on candles as a source of light during a power outage. For mobile use, torches and handheld LEDs are safer.
- Avoid using your candle as a nightlight or a reading light. Lamps are far better.
- Be careful if using candles during a power outage or in the dark.
Be careful how far you burn
Some people like to take it to the bitter end. If you've read this far you're probably one of those people.
- Avoid burning your candle all the way down if possible. If you do, make sure it's on a heat resistant surface as the flame will be very close to the bottom of the container.
- If you'd like a margin of safety, discontinue burning when there's ½ inch of wax left if in a container or 2 inches if its a standalone candle.
Extinguishing your candle
There's some instances where it may be safer to extinguish your candle. Or if you simply want to put it out, here's some best practice.
Preferably, use a snuff to put your candle out
- Don't use your fingers or any flammable objects to smother your candles flame.
- Apply your snuff gently and hold it there until the flame is completely out.
- If you must blow your candle out, don't blow too erratically as this can splash wax or move the flame. Do a short, directed blow and keep a controlled distance away in case of wax splash. Don't try and blow it out from the other side of the room either.
- Don’t hover directly over the candle. The heat rising from the flame may burn you.
- If you use a lidded candle, drop the lid on gently to smother the flame, you don't need to push it down. Don't hold your hand on the lid. Make sure the lid isn't flammable.
Don't use water to extinguish your candle
We know that water poke'mon trump fire poke'mon, but keep that to your Gameboy.
- Water can cause hot wax to splash.
- Water can cool containers too quickly making them crack if glass.
Other times to extinguish your candle
- If it repeatedly smokers or flickers.
- If the flame is too high or erratic.
- If the candle isn't burning properly.
- If you are leaving the room.
- Let it cool and check the previous safety steps before re-lighting.
When you've put your candle out
When you've enjoyed your candle enough and you've put it out, double check that:
- The candle is completely extinguished and the wick is no longer glowing. Do not leave the room until so.
- Avoid touching or moving the candle until it has cooled completely.
Enjoy your candle!
We know that lists like this can often seem exhaustive and over the top, but you'll get a lot more enjoyment out of your scented candles if you're not worrying about your safety.
Following these tips should help you relax and enjoy your candles in a safe and controlled environment. The more you remember to practice these things the more routine, less effort and less worrisome they'll become.
Candles - especially scented candles such as the ones we sell at Happy Piranha, are made for your enjoyment. So remember to enjoy them too!
We suggest complimenting your favorite book with a scented candle to add that extra atmosphere, or burning a candle for a few hours to help you relax.
Be a Safe Piranha and a Happy Piranha too!
- You can find our full candle safety instructions here.
- Know you know how to use your candles safely, here's some top tips for buying the best scented candle.