Here is what you can do to maintain safe use of candles in addition to getting the most out of your candle:
Before burning any candle, always remove all paper and packaging. This includes any paper, such as raffia, used for decorative purposes. Paper and trimmings can easily ignite.
Place candle on heat-resistant surface and away from anything that can catch on fire.
Make sure your wick is centered. A pencil or stylis can be helpful in centering the wick.
Trim wick(s) to ¼” before you light the candle. Do not leave any of the wick trimmings on the candle. After each burning, trim again to ¼” or at least trim off the black build-up from the tip.
To avoid dancing flames or a flickering wick with a new paraffin candle, light it, extinguish it, and then relight the candle. This is not necessary with soy wax candles.
Never place a burning candle in a draft. This will cause smoking.
Keep candles away from curtains or other flammable materials. Remember that a candle is an open flame. It can easily ignite any combustible nearby, including flammable liquids. Avoid candles with combustible items embedded within them.
Allow candle to burn only 3-4 hours per use (smaller candles 2-3 hours) or until the wax pool covers the entire circumference of the candle. This prevents the cavity in the middle of the candle.
Use a candle snuffer to extinguish the flame. This prevents smoking.
If you are using a glass or metal container, avoid touching the glass or metal when the candles are burning. Hot glass or metal can cause a skin burn. Keep the wick centered to avoid heating the glass. Discontinue burning when 1/2" of wax remains in the container. After extinguishing the candle, if soot should occur, wait until the container is cool, then wipe with a dry paper towel. Soy container candles do not usually produce black soot on the jar.
For soy tart melts, place only one soy tart or traditional tart melt in a proper melting bowl such as a tart burner with tealite or electric tart melter. Avoid touching the hot wax. To remove used wax, extinguish the heat source and cool. Place the melting bowl in the freezer for approximately ½ hour. Any left over chilled wax will easily slide out.
Never leave a burning candle unattended or out of sight.
Keep the wax pool free of foreign matter which could cause a fire hazard.
Use candle holders that are sturdy, won't tip over easily, are made from a material that can't burn and are large enough to collect dripping wax.
Place candle holders on a sturdy, uncluttered surface and do not use candles in places where they could be knocked over by children or pets.
Always keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.
Never pour hot wax in a trash can.
For votive candles, always burn them in a tight-fitting votive candle holder to avoid gushing wax. Do not move the votive candle while it is burning because the glass votive candle holder may be very hot and it can cause a burn.
During power outages, try to avoid a lit candle. Don’t use a lit candle to search for items in confined spaces.
Never use a candle for a light when checking pilot lights or fueling equipment such as a kerosene heater or lantern. The flame may ignite the fumes.
Be aware that gel candles burn hotter than wax candles.
Click a link below to get free reports and advice from the National Fire Protection Association and the American Lung Association.