Candles – A Warning for Policy Expert Customers!

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The number of fire claims seen by Policy Expert over the Christmas period has risen dramatically. The largest contributing factor in this steep rise in fires is improper use of candles in the home. Candle fires have resulted in over £350,000 worth of claims by Policy Expert customers over Christmas alone. 

Improperly using candles in your home can have devastating and potentially fatal repercussions. The main cause of the claims seen by Policy Expert is candles being left to burn unattended. In 2012/13 there were over 1,000 fires in the UK caused by candles, and 40% of these resulted in injury or death.

To make sure you’re not putting your home at risk from fires, we’ve put together some simple advice on using candles safely.


The Do’s and Dont’s of Candle Safety:

  • Always put candles on a heat resistant surface, like ceramic or glass.  Don’t leave candles on plastic surfaces like televisions, as they can easily melt.
  • Put candles in a candle proper candle holder. Ensure both the candle and the holder remain upright and stable.
  • Always keep candles away from curtains and drafts. Never put candles on windowsills.
  • Candles produce a lot of heat, so ensure there is plenty of room above them. Never put candles under shelves or cupboards.
  • When lighting candles, make sure you keep clothes and hair out of the way.
  • Candles should be out of reach of children and pets at all times.
  • Keep at least four inches (10cm) candles apart from each other.
  • Take care with scented candles, as these turn to liquid to release their fragrance which can be extremely hot.
  • Don’t leave candles burning unattended or when you go to sleep.
  • Take particular care not to splash hot wax when extinguishing candles.
  • Always make sure candles are completely out, as smouldering candles can still cause fires.

Policy Expert

Here at Policy Expert, our dedicated customer service team is always on hand to help – either online or over the phone. Whether you want assistance in finding the right policy or even handling a claim, we make sure it’s all handled by experts. For more information on what‘s covered under your Home Insurance policy, speak to one of our experts on 0330 0600 600 or email

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Policy Expert.