Although an overwhelming majority of people utilize bulbs for illuminating their homes, the importance of a candle hasn’t wavered. When the power supply to your home is out, you will need a candle for illuminating your home.
Backup lights help a lot of course but even they run out of power after some time. Others leave a scented candle on overnight because they love the smell.
With the above said, there is also a certain amount of risk when it comes to using candles. Many ponder over whether it is dangerous to leave candles overnight. Doing so presents an incredible amount of risk that may bring out severe consequences not only to your property but to yourself and your family as well.
It’s dangerous to leave candles on overnight. Candles can fall over, objects can fall on the candle, flashover can occur, glass can shatter, and inhaling excessive toxic fumes are just a few dangers. Some of these can be avoided by using battery or solar-powered lights or using a salt lamp.
Let’s take a deeper dive into how dangerous it is to leave candles on overnight and different ways you can prevent an accidental house fire from occurring.
5 Reasons Why it’s Dangerous to Leave Candles on Overnight
Leaving a candle on overnight can be very dangerous even if you have a glass-covered candle holder. Here are some of the risks.
1) Knock Down
The most obvious one is the candle accidentally falling or getting knocked down by pets leading to nearby flammable materials catching on fire. The more candles you leave on overnight, the greater the risk.
You might think that such a thing may not happen but if it does, it can lead to your whole house burning down. The candle may fall due to wind (if the windows are kept open) or in a rare case due to small earthquakes.
An earthquake causing the candle to fall might sound absurd but there are many times when we don’t even know about small quakes when they happen as we are asleep.
One might also keep the windows open when he/she goes to sleep and wind could knock down the candle.
2) Secondary Ignition
This occurs when a secondary object (living or non-living) falls on to the candle and catches on fire. The object could be anything from a leaf from a plant near the candle, dust, lint particles, or an insect.
It can then fall on any flammable material near the candle such as paper and start a fire. If you have several candles lit, the fire will spread faster and end up burning your home.
This might seem like an unlikely event but a lot of home fires have been triggered due to this issue.
A candle flashover occurs when the melted wax near the candle catches fire. This will end up with the whole candle catching fire and spreading to nearby objects.
When one is near the candle and awake, he/she can easily put out the fire the moment the wax bursts into flame but when you are asleep, you won’t even know it until it gets out of hand.
Although this happens rarely, it does happen enough times in a year to make it a worrisome issue.
4) Glass Breaking
If you are using a glass candle holder, it can offer a little bit of protection to nearby objects but if it gets too hot, the glass will shatter. Due to this, it is generally believed that one should leave a candle ON in a glass candle holder for no more than 4 continuous hours.
Manufacturers of candle holders often have this warning on their product to protect themselves from liability but it is a real concern. Apart from the fire risk, you will wake up the next day to small glass shreds all over the floor too.
It only becomes worse if you have a small child or a pet that may accidentally walk over the broken glass the next day.
Even though we don’t think much about it, the reality is that inhaling a large amount of candle fumes can lead to some serious health consequences.
Even scented candles whose entire purpose is to create a pleasant smell when burned release chemicals, soot, and lead into the air. It’s not toxic when inhaled in small amounts but over time, it can lead to bigger problems.
Moreover, if someone in your home has asthma, it can be dangerous for them to sleep while inhaling these fumes.
How to Minimize or Remove the Risk?
The most obvious way to remove the risk of your home burning from leaving a candle overnight is to make sure you put it out before you go to sleep.
Even if you feel you are sleepy, put them out. Otherwise, you might accidentally fall asleep near the candle and knock it over yourself. Apart from this, there are ways to completely negate the risk such as:
- Battery Powered Candles – One of the safest ways is to get a battery-powered candle or light. They don’t use fire or electricity and so don’t come with any risk when leaving them on overnight. If you love candles, you can even get ones that look very similar to them complete with fake flames and unique features like brightness adjustment, colors, and more.
- Solar Powered Lights – There are some ingenious solar products you can buy online, which require you to put them out under the sun to get them charged. Once they have charged up, all you have to do is turn them on and they will easily last for 6 to 8 hours. These lights only come with a one-time cost and will save you a good amount of money in the long run
- Salt Lamps – Salt lamps are becoming very popular now as they are very safe and add to the décor as well. They are designed to stay lit for a long time and are made in such a way that the bulbs are covered by a thick salt shell, which greatly minimizes any risk of them leading to a home fire.
Whether it is fire or electricity, you must always take basic safety precautions and exercise common sense when it comes to using them.
With so many advances made thanks to the help of technology, we no longer need to be reliant on candles and other objects that may lead to fires.
There are so many reliable alternatives today that all you need to do is a little bit of research and you will be good to go. Stay safe!