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Remember: A candle is an open flame. It can easily ignite any flammable items nearby.

The South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS) offers the following tips for the safe use of candles:

  • Candles should only ever be used by adults.
  • Make sure candles are placed in sturdy holders that will not tip over and place on a secure piece of heat-resistant furniture. Candle holders must be made of material that can not burn.
  • Extinguish all candles when leaving a room or going to sleep.
  • Keep the immediate area around a candle clear of all items. They should be kept well away from items that can catch fire, such as clothing, books, paper, curtains, Christmas trees and flammable decorations etc.
  • Do not place lit candles in windows, where blinds or curtains can close over them.
  • Keep candles and all open flames away from flammable liquids.
  • Do not use candles in places where they can be knocked over by children or pets.
  • Battery operated candles are a good and safe alternative to traditional candles.

Where Young Children are Present:

  • Keep candles up high, out of reach of children.
  • Never leave a child unattended in a room with a lit candle. A child should not sleep in a room with a lit candle.
  • Keep all matches and lighters up high, out of the sight and reach of children, and preferably in a locked cabinet.

During Power Outages:

  • Torches/flashlights and other lights generated by batteries are much safer light sources than candles.
  • Wind up torches are available.
  • Try to avoid carrying a lit candle.
  • Don’t use a candle to go into confined spaces like a walk-in robe.
  • Never use a candle for light when fuelling equipment, such as a kerosene heater or lantern as the flame may ignite the fumes.

Incense Sticks:

  • Use incense stick trays to ensure that falling ash does not come into contact with flammable items.
  • Keep burning incense sticks away from curtains and blinds.
  • Do not leave incense sticks burning when you are asleep or out of the house.
  • Keep burning incense sticks away from children and pets.
  • Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children.

Download a PDF English version of this Home Fire Safety Fact Sheet  (PDF 396KB)

For further advice ring the Community Safety Department 8204 3611

Country callers 1300 737 637


or call in to 99 Wakefield Street, Adelaide during business hours.