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Festive Fire Safety

With more and more households now equipped with a working fireplace than ever before, the style, sophistication and romantic appeal of a fire in your living room hasn't slowed down in recent years, as the environmentally friendly designs of the 21st century are drawing people back in towards the fire hearth lifestyle. In addition to this, with the popularity of lighting scented candles around the home at its peak, particularly during bath time or relaxing ‘me' time, there are more flames in our homes now than ever before.

Fire safety should be high on the agenda of anyone who welcomes open, naked flames into their homes, especially if there are children or pets present. Here at Relko, we deal with the damage caused by fires on a regular basis, and we don't want to see the same happen in your home.

As colder weather draws in, lighting the fire for a cosy night in grows ever tempting, so we have compiled some candle and fire do's and don'ts to keep you safe this festive period.


  • Only light candles in sturdy, stable holders that are kept upright
  • Place on heat resistant surfaces only, to prevent damage or melting
  • Keep away from curtains, drapes, fabric and furniture
  • Keep away from hanging decorations
  • Keep out of reach of children and animals
  • Keep high up, away from trailing clothing and hair
  • Only use in ventilated rooms
  • Never leave a lit candle unsupervised
  • Double check they are out when you leave a room
  • Do not keep on middle shelves, keep a fair distance between candles and surfaces - at least a metre
  • Leave at least 4 inches between candles
  • Opt for soy or beeswax candles for fewer toxins than scented candles


  • Have your chimney inspected every year, before you start using your fire again
  • Clean your chimney regularly to remove soot and debris
  • Remember to open your damper - it is also important to leave it open until the fire is long gone and embers are cold
  • Don't use charcoal, lighter gas, gasoline or other fire stimulants
  • Only use as much paper to build your fire as necessary. Excess paper can cause a build-up of soot in your chimney, which can cause unwanted chimney fires
  • Always use a fire screen or protector - beware these can get hot to touch and will remain so for at least 45 mins after the fire has died.
  • Don't ever burn plastic, rubbish or aerosols
  • Use dry wood and kindling in your fire
  • Ensure gas fires are fully turned off after use
  • Don't hang decorations in front of fireplaces - remove before lighting for optimal safety

Prevention of fire is always best, ensure you have adequate safety measures in place if you are going to use fire or burn candles in your home.

Smoke alarms should be in every bedroom, on every floor of your house and in every room where there is a fireplace. Test these monthly, and ensure your family knows what to do in case of a fire. Replace batteries as necessary, and replace smoke alarms every ten years.

For more advice and fire safety tips, please visit the Relko Group website to ensure your home and family is kept safe this winter.