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Candle warning following incident in Rhosnesi


A Senior Fire Officer is appealing to residents to take care with candles and naked flames in the run up to Christmas following a fire in Rhosnesni yesterday evening.


Two crews from Wrexham were called to a property on Hawkstone Way, Rhosnesni at 17.22hrs yesterday evening, Thursday 8th December.


A candle had been left unattended on a kitchen worktop, which activated smoke alarms.


A neighbour called 999 and alerted the fire and rescue service.


The fire caused 100% smoke damage to the kitchen area.


Paul Scott, Community Safety Manager for Wrexham and Flintshire, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: “This incident highlights the dangers of candles left unattended and how easily fires can happen.


“Candles are a typical sight in many homes, especially over the Christmas period - but it’s important to remember that a candle is not just a decorative feature. Left unattended, an open flame could leave a trail of devastation.


“Although they look attractive, candles are still open flames and, as such, extra care needs to be taken when using them. Another option is to use a battery operated tea light, which can be purchased for a small cost and are battery operated instead of requiring a flame. These candles are just as effective at creating an atmosphere but are much safer than a regular candle. Also, it’s a good idea to keep torches and spare batteries to hand for use in the event of a power cut. "


Paul advises that residents using regular candles follow the safety advice below:

  • Make sure candles are secured in a proper holder, on a stable surface, and away from materials that may catch fire - such as curtains


  • Children and pets should never be left alone with lit candles


  • Never leave a lit candle unattended. Put candles out whenever you leave the room, and make sure they’re put out completely at night


  • Keep the wax pool clear of wick trimmings, matches and debris at all times


  • Burn candles in a well-ventilated room, but avoid draughts, vents or air currents - this will help prevent rapid or uneven burning, sooting, and excessive dripping


  • Trim the wick to ¼ inch each time before burning. Long or crooked wicks can cause uneven burning, dripping or flaring
  • Don’t move candles once they are lit


  • Follow the manufacturer's recommendations on burn time and proper use


  • Always put scented candles in a heat resistant holder, as these candles are designed to liquify when heated, to maximise fragrance


  • Do not burn several candles close together as this might cause the flame to flare


  • Use a snuffer or a spoon to put out candles. It’s safer than blowing them out which may cause sparks.


He added:


“Even with these precautions, it’s vital to be prepared should the worst happen. A working smoke alarm can give you the vital time you need to get out, stay out, and call 999. Keep yourself and your loved ones safe by testing your alarm regularly and by planning and practising an escape route.”

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