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Be candle safe

CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colo. -- In 2010, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 9,600 home structure fires that were started by candles. These fires caused 90 deaths, 820 injuries and $370 million in direct property damage. According to the National Fire Protection Agency's latest estimates of home candle fires, candles caused three percent of reported home fires, four percent of home fire deaths, six percent of home fire injuries, and five percent of the direct property damage from home fires in 2010.

Facts and figures
During the five-year period of 2005-2009:
· More than one-third (36 percent) of home candle fires started in bedrooms. These fires caused 43 percent of the associated deaths and 47 percent of the associated injuries.

· On average, 35 home candle fires were reported per day.

· Falling asleep was a factor in 12 percent of the home candle fires and 42 percent of the associated deaths.

· More than half (55 percent) of home candle fires occurred when some form of combustible material was left or came too close to the candle.

· December is the peak time of year for home candle fires. In December, 11 percent of home candle fires began with decorations compared to four percent the rest of the year.

Ensure you are vigilant when using candles throughout the year, including the upcoming holiday season.

(Article courtesy of the National Fire Protection Agency and the 721st Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Prevention office.)

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