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     Religious Safety Tips

Each year, Church properties experience serious fires resulting from the misuse of candles. The damage caused from these fires ranges anywhere from a few thousand dollars to total destruction costing millions of dollars. Since candles are an important symbol of the Church and are readily used in Church properties, the following guidelines must be followed to reduce the chance of fire in your facility.

  • Candles should be placed in double-insulated containers or secured by a sturdy noncombustible base/holder.
  • Keep candles free of foreign objects such as matches and wick clippings.
  • Ensure matches, lighting sticks and lighters are safely out of the reach of children.
  • Provide a noncombustible container filled with sand to extinguish and place matches or lighting sticks.
  • Keep wicks trimmed to one-quarter inch and extinguish them when they get to within two inches of the holder. Candles should be extinguished before the last half-inch of wax begins to melt.
  • Extinguish candles with a snuffer, avoiding burns from hot wax.
  • Let candles and holders cool sufficiently prior to moving.
  • Never leave a candle burning in an unoccupied room. The only exceptions would be for votive candles or the sanctuary lamp candle. These candles are specifically manufactured to burn until they self-extinguish.
  • Never let candles burn for more than four hours at a time. The same exceptions as above would apply.
  • The flame of a candle should not be closer than three inches to other candle flames.
  • No lit candles on live or artificial holiday greenery. Exception: Any artificial wreath (i.e. advent wreath must be fire retardant treated and candles set in protective container).
  • Ensure a 5 pound ABC dry chemical fire extinguisher is wall mounted near the location of candles.

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