NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The state fire marshal's office is urging Tennessee residents to be careful when using decorative and fragranced candles.
Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak says from 2008 to 2012 Tennessee fire departments responded to more than 500 home structure fires started by candles.
The fires caused nine deaths, 30 injuries and more than $14 million in property damage.
Officials suggest using battery-operated flameless candles. But if using actual candles, suggestions include placing them in something sturdy that won't tip over, keeping them at least 12 inches from anything that can burn, and protecting candle flames with glass chimneys or containers.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, on average, 42 home candle fires are reported every day in the United States. More than half of all candle fires start when something that could burn, like curtains, is too close to the candle.