“Over the course of the past several years, candles left unattended have caused major fires in Plainsboro and led to the destruction of homes, townhomes, apartments and condos as well as a significant loss of personal property,” Chief Wagner said in a letter being distributed to township residents.
Chief Wagner said Plainsboro residents should follow guidelines for the safe use of candles developed by the National Fire Protection Association:
Candle safety tips
* Blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed. Avoid the use of candles in the bedroom and other areas where people may fall asleep.
* Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn.
*Think about using flameless candles in your home. They look and smell like real candles.
If you do burn candles, make sure that you...
* Use candle holders that are sturdy, and won’t tip over easily.* Put candle holders on a sturdy, uncluttered surface.
* Light candles carefully. Keep your hair and any loose clothing away from the flame.
* Don’t burn a candle all the way down — put it out before it gets too close to the holder or container.
* Never use a candle if oxygen is used in the home.
* Have flashlights and battery-powered lighting ready to use during a power outage. Never use candles.
Religious candle safety
* Candles should be placed in a sturdy candle holder.
* Handheld candles should not be passed from one person to another at any time.
* Lit candles should not be placed in windows where a blind or curtain could catch fire.
* Candles placed on, or near tables, altars, or shrines, must be watched by an adult.
* Blow out candles when you leave the room or go to sleep.
* While the Plainsboro Fire Company does not recommend burning candles continuously, the National Fire Protection Association recommends that, if a candle must burn continuously for religious reasons, it must be enclosed in a glass container and placed in a sink, on a metal tray, or in a deep basin filled with water.
“Working together, we can prevent the kind of serious fires that our community has suffered in the past and ensure that our celebrations do not turn into tragedies,” Chief Wagner said.