A Candle Light Cautionary Tale

There’s a special beauty and tranquility to candles, but a lighted candle is also a potential fire hazard if not carefully monitored. Chris Stanbury, Managing Director of Cravenplan Computers of Swallowcliffe, has a cautionary tale following a potentially devastating close call he had with a house fire. Luckily as a customer of Wessex Fire and Security, who supplied and installed fire extinguishers and a fire alarm system, this story has a happy ending.

Chris explained; “Like many, we enjoy the candle lit ambience during long dark nights and we had several candles lit on Thursday evening and left them to burn out as they were near the end of the wick. The tray that the candles were resting in was on a slight slope and it seems the wax melted and kept feeding the flame until 36 hours later on Saturday morning when it all burst into flames!

I was alerted by the fire alarm and when I quickly checked the area I could see the flames in our sitting room and thought “it isn’t an electrical fire – needs a water extinguisher” – wrong!! The candles produced a large tray of wax granules which had melted and become a bit like a chip pan fire. When I sprayed a little of the water on the fire the burning wax exploded in a huge fireball. I ran back and got the CO2 extinguisher and successfully managed to put the fire out. It would have been better if I’d had a fire blanket and I’ve now purchased three.

The fire brigade took just over 20 minutes to get here. They had to come from Shaftesbury because the Tisbury crew was already out on a job and if it hadn’t been for the extinguishers fitted by Wessex we might have been left with no house or office.”

Wessex Fire and Security, who received this story from their customer and who have thousands of fire alarm and maintenance customers, wish to remind all their customers and our readers that thousands of accidental house fires are caused each year by candles – especially at this time of year. Wessex commented that if you are going to use candles you should always extinguish them if they are to be left unattended and always make sure lit candles are positioned on a level surface away from flammable material and situated inside a suitable and sturdy candle holder. Serviced fire protection equipment is nevertheless something your home and business should never be without.

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Longmead Industrial Estate,
Wincombe Lane,
Shaftesbury,
SP7 8PJ

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