Raising awareness about the dangers of using candles to help save on household power bills are Lismore Fire Brigade Station Officer Ian Grimwood (front) and Senior Firefighters (rear, from left) Greg Marker, Paul Hocking and Scott Peterson.
Raising awareness about the dangers of using candles to help save on household power bills are Lismore Fire Brigade Station Officer Ian Grimwood (front) and Senior Firefighters (rear, from left) Greg Marker, Paul Hocking and Scott Peterson. Cathy Adams

Firies deliver candle warning

RAPIDLY rising electricity prices are pushing people to use candles with some potentially disastrous results.

While candles may ease the burden on people’s wallets, their use creating concerns at the Lismore Fire Station, which is experiencing an unusual spike in candle-related fires this winter.

In the 22 months to April, NSW Fire and Rescue responded to 154 candle-related residential fires across NSW.

Locally, crews from the Lismore Fire Station have responded to two candle-related residential fires in the past six weeks.

Lismore Station Officer Ian Grimwood said this was worrying considering he did not attend a single candle-related house fire last winter.

“In the last six weeks we have had minor candle fires in Lismore, but have not had too much damage or any injury.

"There has been a bit of a spike in candle-related incidents in the area,” he said.

“With these two incidents so close together it shows the potential for a house fire to happen.

"The candles have been placed on inappropriate surfaces and ignited.”

Mr Grimwood believes more people are using candles to cut down on electricity.

“There was one house fire I went to where curtains caught alight on candles and the whole house burned down,” he said.

“When we got there the roof was collapsing.

“We have been to a number (of fires) where they have started from curtains blowing into flames.

"In the modelling they have done a room can become engulfed in two to three minutes.”

Earlier this month, a weatherboard house at Uralba almost went up in flames after a candle perched on a dining table fell over and ignited a pile of paperwork.

The occupants, a 15-year-old girl and her mother, managed to escape.

The smoke caused damage to the lounge room, but the house was saved.

Ballina Fire Station Captain Dennis Henry said they had not responded to any candle-related incidents in their area this winter.

 

Safety tips

  • Never leave candles unattended.
  • Extinguish candles before you go to bed.
  • Make sure they are kept away from a heated surface.
  • Ensure your household heater is in good condition before you use it.


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