Prince George’s County Fire Department officials are warning residents about unattended candles after a third fire this weekend.
Chief Mark Brady said a home in the 11900 block of Pleasant Prospect Road in the gated community of Woodmore suffered significant damage from a fire Sunday morning. The fire, he said, was caused by an unattended candle on the second floor.
No one was injured in the blaze. A working smoke alarm alerted the family and allowed them to escape.
Brady said it was the third fire that weekend caused by unattended candles. He said the combined fire loss is estimated at $170,000 and the displacement of three families.
He released these safety tips for people who want the ambience of a candle:
• Consider using battery-operated or electric flameless candles and fragrance warmers, which can look, smell and feel like real candles – without the flame.
• If you do use candles, ensure they are in sturdy metal, glass or ceramic holders and placed where they cannot be easily knocked down.
• Avoid using candles in bedrooms and sleeping areas.
• Extinguish candles after use and before going to bed.
• Keep candles at least 12 inches from anything that can burn.
• Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.
• Set a good example by using matches, lighters and fire carefully.
• Children should never be allowed to play with matches, lighters or candles.
• Never use a candle where medical oxygen is being used. The two can combine to create a large, unexpected fire.
• Always use a flashlight – not a candle – for emergency lighting.
• Never put candles on a Christmas tree.
• When using in home worship, don't place lit candles in windows, where blinds and curtains can close over them, or pass handheld candles from one person to another. To lower the risk of fire, candles should be used by only a few designated adults.
• And NEVER leave burning candles unattended