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Mr Grey warns: be safe with candles this Valentine’s Day

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12 Feb 2015
This Valentine’s Day don’t spoil the mood, use candles with care.

In 2014 MFB firefighters attended 40 candle fires, many of which resulted in serious property damage.

MFB Fire Investigator Station Officer Phil Grey said it was very easy to light a candle and walk away, forgetting that it’s still burning.

“The problem with candles is that despite how small and harmless they may seem, the results of a candle fire can be catastrophic,” Mr Grey said.

“Some of the worst candle fires we attended last year were actually caused by tea light candles”

Last year candle fires resulted in major property damage, including partially destroyed houses and the loss of sentimental items such as wedding albums and children’s school photos. In one case a candle fire caused a sprinkler to activate, flooding a unit so badly the tenants had to relocate.

Victims also suffered smoke inhalation and minor burns. 

“Often when fire crews arrive on scene residents report lighting the candles and falling asleep,” Mr Grey said.

“This is obviously a great concern to us as without working smoke alarms these people might not have survived.”

So this Saturday when you shower your loved one with champagne, roses and a romantic dinner, make sure you extinguish any mood-setting candles before you turn in for the night.

You could also try using LED fairy lights or flameless candle lights as a safe and energy efficient alternative to candles.


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The Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Authority Council (AFAC) recommends monthly testing of smoke alarms to ensure they are working correctly.

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