• Guide

Religious Candle Safety

Lit candles are used in religious services, in places of worship, and in the home. Whether you are using one candle, or more than one on a candelabra, kinara or menorah, make sure you take a few moments to learn about using candles safely.

Candle Safety

  • Candles should be placed in a sturdy candle holder.
  • Handheld candles should not be passed from one person to another at any time.
  • When lighting candles at a candle lighting service, have the person with the unlit candle dip their candle into the flame of the lit candle.
  • Lit candles should not be placed in windows where a blind or curtain could catch fire.
  • Candles placed on, or near tables, alters or shrines, must be watched by an adult.
  • If a candle must burn continuously, be sure it is enclosed in a glass container and placed in a sink, on a metal tray or in a deep basin filled with water.

General Fire Safety

  • Matches and lighters should be stored out of the reach of children, in a locked cabinet.
  • Places of worship should be equipped with a fire detection and sprinkler system.
  • A home should have smoke alarms on every level, outside each sleeping area and inside each bedroom. For the best protection, interconnect the alarms, so when one sounds, they all sound. Test all smoke alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button. Replace smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
  • Plan and practice a home fire escape drill that includes two ways out of every room and an outside meeting place.

Children & Candles

Candles should be out of the reach of children and pets. Young children should never hold a lit candle. Consider providing battery-operated candles for children. A parent should decide when a child is mature enough to light a candle with adult supervision.


December is the peak time of year for home candle fires. Annually, US fire departments responded to an estimated 1780 structure fires on religious and funeral properties.