Candle safety is critically important and you need to be vigilant about following some basic safety rules:
1) never leave a candle unattended
if you burn candles a lot you may get kind of lax about watching them as they burn. you always need to be aware of where your candle is and frequently check to make sure it’s burning correctly (you should have a small, steady flame with no black smoke). never burn candles where you can’t see them (especially on shelves—-they can burn the shelf above).
2) leave 1/4” of wax at the bottom of your jars
this is extremely important, especially with vintage jars. If the flame comes into direct contact with the jar there is a risk of it breaking. don’t burn your candles down to the very bottom—-always leave a shallow pool of wax to act as a buffer. the metal tabs that hold the wick up do create some separation but I always recommend leaving some wax in the jar just to be safe.
3) only burn for four hours at a time
when you burn your candles you want to make sure the entire top layer is melted but you don’t want to leave it burning for more than four hours. the longer you burn, the hotter your jar becomes and it’s important to avoid extreme temperatures. it also increases the risk of you forgetting that its burning.
4) trim your wick whenever it flashes or smokes
every time you light your candle you need to trim the wick. if you’re experiencing a dramatically flickering flame or a stream of black smoke, your wick is too long. extinguish the candle, trim, and relight. never leave the excess wick in the wax—-this can cause a secondary ignition which is a fire hazard. I trim my wicks to 1/4” every time i light them.
5) don’t burn your candle within 1 foot of other items
this is a common way that fires start. leave at least a foot of space between a burning candle and other objects. be especially conscious of plants and anything that’s made of fabric, plastic, or wood.
6) don’t light candles in your bedroom
a significant amount of candle-related fires happen in the bedroom because people are more likely to accidentally leave their candles burning overnight.