We all love the aroma of a freshly lit candle in the home. It adds an essence that nothing else can compete with. From French vanilla to pumpkin spice, Christmas tree to beach sand, candles come in thousands of scents. They are great for any occasion, but because they are an open flame, the risk of fire is always present. Especially during the holiday season, fires started from candles can destroy any home. Hopefully your CT homeowners insurance will have you covered.
Even though their scents can put anyone in a great mood, the effects of candles aren’t all sweet and soothing. The use of candles may result in:
- reducing the internal air quality of your home
- increasing the chance of fire losses
- damages by particulate deposits on interior and exterior walls, carpets, furniture, appliances, window treatments, floors and other surfaces.
So what’s the problem then? Actually, there are a number of problems and they have been accentuated by a change in the market for candles. The last few years have seen an explosive growth in the popularity of candles. They are increasingly used for their traditional, decorative purpose and they are now marketed as scented candles for deodorizing and for a health-related purpose called aromatherapy.
Soot, which is a carbon residue produced by burning, can create a large, expensive problem. Since soot is particulate matter that can be carried through the air, it can seriously stain walls, carpets, and personal property. Studies show that electronic and plastic components are also vulnerable to soot damage. Unfortunately, soot produced by improperly burning candles bonds very strongly, making it difficult to impossible to clean.
You may have assumed that the only materials found in candles were the wick and some type of wax. Hardly. Here’s a list of ingredients which may either be found in a candle or may be created during combustion:
- Acetone Benzene Trichlorofluoromethane
- Carbon disulfide 2 Butanone 1 1- Trichloroethane
- Trichloroethene Carbon tetrachloride Tetrachloroethene
- Toluene Chlorobenzene Ethylbenzene
- Styrene Xylene Phenol
- Cresol Cyclopentene Lead
Another surprise is that the candle-making industry is not required to tell consumers about the ingredients used in their products, including when a wick is used which contains a lead core.
So the next time you go to light that soothing Christmas candle, make sure you understand exactly what you’re lighting. You don’t want to file a claim on your homeowners insurance policy because of a dangerous candle.