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Candle safety tips prevent Aviano from burning up

Aviano Air Base, Italy -- Decorative and fragrant candles may be an attractive addition to homes, dorm rooms or event offices, but if used improperly, they can be a serious fire hazard. According to the National Fire Protection Association Journal article, Candle Fires on the Rise, residential candle fires have more than doubled over the past decade. 

Most candle fires were caused by ordinary combustibles such as papers, curtains and bedding being too close to the candle. Another major cause of candle fires was due to the candle being knocked over by wind, doors, children or pets. 

The Aviano Fire Prevention Office would like to offer the following safety tips: 

Dorm residents or people staying in the Temporary Living Facilities can not use candles, incense or any open flame devices which produces a constant flame. 

- If you use candles at home, keep them a minimum of one foot, in all directions, from flammable and combustible materials. 

- Be sure to place them securely in proper candle holders and only burn them when adult supervision is present. 

- When leaving your residence, be sure to extinguish all candles. 

- Never walk while holding a burning candle. Hot wax dripped or spilled on hands can cause someone to drop the candle as a reflex. Dropping the candle on ordinary combustible items can quickly create a fire. 

- Gel candles have become very popular because of their beauty and long-burning characteristics. An 8-ounce candle may burn for approximately 100-hours, increasing the risk for injury and fire beyond that of regular candles. 

The amount of fragrance in gel candles has an important role in their burning. Most fragrances have a flash point of 140 F. The preferred fragrance flash point is 170 F or higher. This factor makes it harder for the fragrance to cause a flash fire and allows for an even burn. 

The Aviano Fire Prevention Office encourages everybody to be fire smart at work, at home and at play. To report an emergency, call 911 from on base, or 112 from off-base.