Fairfax Co. fire officials offer tips for safe candle use this holiday season

If you’re lighting a menorah Sunday night, or planning to use candles to set the mood for a Christmas Eve dinner on Tuesday night, a local fire department has some advice for ensuring a safe holiday.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue provided the following list for those who may be lighting candles this week, as Hanukkah starts Sunday night and runs for seven more nights. The festive days surrounding Christmas can also be dangerous for candle-caused fires.

In a website post on Sunday, the department noted that it understands live candles can add some “warmth” to holiday displays, but it recommends battery-powered candles as a safe alternative.

Here are the department’s suggestions for a safe holiday:

  • Never leave a lit menorah unattended
  • Keep a lit menorah at least 12 inches away from flammable items
  • Do not place a menorah near, or under, flammable items including books, papers or curtains
  • Do not burn candles near windows or doorways
  • Place a menorah on a flat, sturdy, noncombustible surface
  • Never leave candles burning when pets or children are nearby
  • Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children

Dan Friedell

Dan Friedell is a digital writer for WTOP. He came to the D.C. area in 2007 to work as digital editor for USATODAY.com, and since then has worked for a number of local and national news organizations.

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