Tips from the Experts
Few things are as captivating as the soft light and glow of a candle. But there's an art to burning a candle properly and safely. You can generally tell if a candle is burning properly just by looking at it. You should see:
A Calm, Steady Flame
This means that the candle's burning process is in balance. The wick is efficiently pulling up the right amount of wax, which is then being "consumed" by the flame to produce water vapor and carbon dioxide.
No Flickering or Wisps of Smoke
Constant flickering and smoking occur when the teardrop shape of the flame is disturbed. This allows small amounts of unburned carbon particles (soot) to escape from the flame as a visible wisp of smoke.
If too much (or too little) air reaches the candle flame, it will disturb the flame's teardrop shape, causing it to soot. To avoid this, always burn your candles in a well-ventilated room, away from drafts, vents or strong air currents.
No Flare Ups or Leaping Flames
A too-long wick can cause a candle flame to grow too long and flare. That's why it is so important to trim the wick to ¼ inch before every use.
Always keep the wax pool free of wick trimmings, matches and other debris that could catch fire from the flame.
If you like to group your candles, make sure they are at least 3 inches apart when burning. Candles placed too closely together can create their own draft and cause the candles to flare.
Burning a Candle Safely
Remember, a lighted candle is an open flame. Be careful. Always follow the basic rules of fire safety when burning candles:
Never leave a burning candle unattended. Always keep it in your sight.
Never burn a candle on or near anything that might catch fire.
Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.
Always use an appropriate candleholder and place it on a stable, heat-resistant surface.
Read the label and follow the manufacturer's use and safety instructions carefully.
Trim the wick to ¼ inch before each use.
Burn candles in a well-ventilated room, but away from drafts and air currents.
Keep the wax pool free of wick trimmings, matches and debris at all times.
Extinguish any candle if it smokes, flickers repeatedly, or the flame becomes too high. Cool, trim the wick, check for drafts, and re-light.
Don't allow the flame to come too close to the holder or container.
For a margin of safety, discontinue using a candle when
it is within
Never move a lighted candle, and never move a votive or container candle when the wax is liquid.
Extinguish a pillar candle if the wax pool approaches the outer edge.
Place lighted candles at least 3 inches apart.
Click here for a complete list of candle safety rules.
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