Hurricane Sandy Leaves Thousands without Power – Candle and Fireplace Safety Tips
With the recent Frankenstorm - Hurricane Sandy - that hit the east coast, thousands are without power. Experts estimate that it may be days or even weeks before the power comes back on. In the meantime, many people are using candles for light and fireplaces for heat. Below is a list of safety tips from Compliance and Safety.
- Never leave fire unattended. Candles may be small, and the flames they produce may be even smaller, but it takes just a few breaths for an upturned candle to create an inferno.
- Use a smart surface. Always place candles on a non-flammable surface, and keep them away from paper, curtains, and other items that could be easily ignited.
- Use a screen in front of the hearth—make sure it's large and heavy enough to encompass the entire opening and to stop any stray logs from rolling out of the fireplace.
- Perform regular check-ups. Chimneys and woodstoves require annual (and thorough!) cleaning, and monthly inspection in case of obstructions or damage.
- Never burn paper, trash, or green wood; apart from being highly flammable, scraps of burning paper or trash may actually drift up through the chimney or pipe and land on—and light up—your roof.
- Extinguish the fire once you want to move away from it and cool the ashes. Ensure that the ashes are then harmlessly sealed away in a metal container outside the home.