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To think candles are really dangerous?

(56 Posts)
Shadow666 Mon 30-Oct-17 10:56:07

I was thinking about Claudia Winkleman's daughter and her accident when her Halloween costume caught fire a few years ago when she brushed against a Jack O'lantern someone had left on the floor as a decoration. Claudia advocates very strongly for costumes to be flame retardant but I wonder why she has never mentioned the dangers of leaving open flames lying around. I mean, it's pretty dangerous when you think about it. Last year, I made a small display including candles outside for Halloween and my cat must have stepped over it and burnt his tummy. I was so mad at myself. He was ok, just sore for a week or so, but it couldn't have been much worse.

Since then we only use LED tealights in our Jack O'lanterns and lanterns, and do you know what? They're brilliant. They are safe, reasonable and last ages. And you don't have to worry about anyone getting hurt. I know a lot of people do use them, but I wonder why there isn't more campaigning on the dangers of candles. Or perhaps there is and I missed it.

A friend posted on Facebook about a storm coming and she was getting the candles ready. She has kids and cats, I did warn her that candles in a storm are really dangerous and she can pick up some LED lanterns really cheaply these days.

Does anyone else feel like this? Or am I just being bonkers.

user1499786242 Mon 30-Oct-17 10:58:35

I know what you mean! Fire terrifies me!
I put a tea light in our pumpkin but keep it out of reach and it stresses me out!!!
Never thought of using the led ones! I think I might invest in some! Thanks for the tip!

glenthebattleostrich Mon 30-Oct-17 10:59:25

I do this too. This year I'm having a pumpkin patch with some (rather fabulous) purple glittery lights. And I have plain white ones for inside the pumpkins.

It's far safer and I'd rather be over cautious than burn a child.

TwoShades1 Mon 30-Oct-17 11:02:31

I use scented candles (so not for Halloween purposes or lighting) and I’m fairly happy that they are safe enough. I would certainly not put a candle at ground level or use them with small children around. With older children have them higher up where they can’t easily be knocked. Don’t leave them unattended. Only burn them for the recommended amount of time and trim wicks so that the flame isn’t big. Candles can certainly be used safely, I don’t find either of the scenarios you presented to be particularly “safe” use of candles so it not surprising that accidents happen.

Lucyccfc Mon 30-Oct-17 11:08:55

I use scented candles, but make a point and telling my DS that one is lit and where it is (he's 12).

bridgetreilly Mon 30-Oct-17 11:10:58

For thousands of years candles were pretty much the only source of light people had. They managed. Yes, you need to be careful around children and animals. But just be careful. It's not that hard.

Santawontbelong Mon 30-Oct-17 11:12:39

I have made lanterns all my life without mishap and allow my dc to have real candles. We don't however go to none official fireworks displays after knowing my dh had been involved in a serious accident as a dc, when someone threw a banger into a bonfire at a friend's house. Resulted in dh having burnt hands and facial injuries.
Teens also know proper displays only.

LemonShark Mon 30-Oct-17 11:14:17

I assume she chose to keep her campaign message simple to have more of an impact: it loses its punch a bit to dilute with 'and remember to keep candles safe too!'

I think the issue is we all already know candles aren't toys and we should use them safely so it's pointless promoting that: they're an open flame and nobody can miss that. Making costumes fire retardant will help reduce the damage to someone who has caught fire. It reduces the likelihood of serious harm.

SloanePeterson Mon 30-Oct-17 11:17:26

For Halloween we absolutely wouldn't use anything other than LEDs. But I'll happily have scented candles burning in the house. We have them on the dresser, I wouldn't want them on the windowsill where they might catch the curtains. My own dc are slightly older and we have no pets to worry about, and I too have candles for emergencies. But when other dc, including very small ones are knocking at the door for Halloween, and I know there are several fat neighbourhood cats that like to sit on our doorstep, it's not a risk I'm taking.

BeachyKeen Mon 30-Oct-17 11:20:14

I am not scared of candles, oil lamps, or open flame, it's what I grew up with. I have a healthy respect for fire, and I'm careful with it, and taught the kids to be as well.
Tbh I am more afraid of electricity, and I worry about electrical fires starting while I am asleep. But I am a weirdo😊

TheAntiBoop Mon 30-Oct-17 11:26:34

Mil has candles on the Xmas tree and that freaks me out! Whenever I'm at hers I always keep one eye on the tree!!

ThanksForAllTheFish Mon 30-Oct-17 11:30:20

Poundland does a three pack of battery operated tea light candles for £1. Much safer for Halloween for pumpkins etc.

I don’t light candles very often, I do have some nice scented ones I burn occasionally but they are up high out of cat/child reach. (My cats not a climber). When I do light them I am paranoid they will set fire to something so I keep a close eye On them.

DD is very, very sensible about candles. She goes to catholic school and they often light candles in class for various religious things. The children all take turns to light the candle and being safe around candles had been drummed into them from a young age.

I do agree with making costumes fire retardant but the problem is cost. No one wants to pay more that £10/£15 for a costume these days. Fire retardant fabric is more expensive (as is the extra testing of the costumes to ensure they meet fire safety standards). If this became standard in the UK prices of costumes would increase - perhaps even to double the price.
All that would then happen is more people would order cheap (non fire retardant) costumes from China via eBay.

Knusper Mon 30-Oct-17 11:32:45

We have candles on the Christmas tree. It's very common where I come from. I don't have scented candles or other flames around the house though as it's too easy to forget them.

ppeatfruit Mon 30-Oct-17 11:34:08

Yes bridget But there were regular disastrous fires in theatres and towns etc. The wooden buildings didn't help of course!

It's like anything risky nowadays, candles must be used carefully and conscientiously.

PovertyPain Mon 30-Oct-17 11:35:32

I grew up in a three bedroom house, with 5 siblings, parents and an uncle. We had an open fire, candles and Tilly lamps and an open well for water. We were taught from the moment we could crawl about the dangers of fire and water. I think part if the problem is that some people only use candles at certain times of the year, so parents tend to be too relaxed around them. Kids aren't used to them, so really aren't aware of how dangerous they can be, as the parents just give them a quick, "don't touch that", without pushing home what can happen.

ghostyslovesheets Mon 30-Oct-17 11:37:57

The campaign was about the classification of costumes as toys - meaning they didn't need to meet the same fire safety standards as clothing - of course candles are dangerous but that wasn't the problem

ChardonnaysPrettySister Mon 30-Oct-17 11:39:26

Chinese lanterns are particularly bad.

Flying fire, scary.

Boophis Mon 30-Oct-17 11:40:28

Led candles use button batteries! Deadly! I was upset to see them being used at my dd nursery, the battery lid doesnt screw in, just clips in so easy to access the batteries - deadly if swallowed by a small child. I think I prefer real candles because of that

Terrylene Mon 30-Oct-17 11:45:25

I remember from doing a fire safety workshop with firefighters years ago at work, that the biggest cause of house fires was people using candles when their electricity was cut off for non payment of bills.

I don't use them, because we are just not used to dealing with the safety aspects any more.

Hulababy Mon 30-Oct-17 11:45:30

I use led tea lights in pumpkins and Ines being left unattended esp outside.

I have dented candles in the living room and I scented candles in the dining area when having an ice meal. But they aren't unsupervised.

morningconstitutional2017 Mon 30-Oct-17 11:58:48

I never use candles as I'm naturally cautious especially after I read that house fires have become much more common since they became so popular.
I've got a frisky cat so I could imagine them being knocked over with disastrous consequences.

ThisMorningWentBadly Mon 30-Oct-17 12:01:22

I use light up balloons in pumpkins

onalongsabbatical Mon 30-Oct-17 12:02:31

I've known of two people who had house fires after they went to bed leaving candles lit. I lived opposite one of them, I'll never forget waking up in the night because someone was banging on the woman's door trying to wake her up (30 yrs ago, well before mobiles etc) - wake up, wake up, your house is on fire! The whole living room was aflame. It was the christmas season - parties, candles, alcohol, relaxation - so easy. They all got out.
Just.

ThisMorningWentBadly Mon 30-Oct-17 12:03:32

I use light up balloons in pumpkins

Shadow666 Mon 30-Oct-17 12:04:02

I have the Ikea LED tealights and they need a screwdriver to access the batteries. My screwdrivers are kept out of reach of the kids, so I don't worry about the batteries.

I'd be utterly terrified to have real candles in a Christmas tree!

Apparently there are around 1,000 candle-related house fires per year in the UK, It's quite a lot!

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