Matches, lighters, candles and smoking

Matches, lighters, candles and smoking

Many things in your home can catch on fire if they touch a flame or something hot like a dropped cigarette. Proper use of candles, matches, lighters and smoking materials can less the risk of fire hazards. 

Pick a safe place

  • Never use candles in your bedroom or bathroom.
  • Keep pets and children away from lit candles.
No candles near bed
No candles in bathroom
No candles near pets

Blow before you go

  • Always blow candles out before you leave a room, not just when you are leaving your unit.
  • A good way to make sure candles are fully out is by wetting the wicks.
  • Consider using battery-operated flameless candles.
Blow out candles
Candle should be blown out when leaving a room

Make some room

  • Candles should be in a sturdy, safe candle holder that will not burn or tip over.
  • Keep candles at least 12 inches (30 cm) away from anything that can burn. This includes flammable decorations or displays, furniture, and more.
Candles should be 12 inches from anything flammable
Candles should be 12 inches from anything flammable

Keep up and away

  • Teach children that matches and lighters are not toys. Let them know that if they find smoking materials, they should give them to an adult right away.
  • If you smoke, keep cigarettes, lighters, matches and cigarettes out of reach of children.
Keep candles away from children

Smoking safety

Careless smoking is the leading cause of fire deaths. We feel safest at home, but home is where most smoking-related fires, deaths and injuries occur. A dropped cigarette can smolder for hours before bursting into flames.

Prevent fires caused by careless smoking

  • If you smoke, use only fire-safe cigarettes, and always smoke outside. Most deaths result from fires that started in living rooms, family rooms, dens or bedrooms.
  • Never throw cigarette butts from a balcony. Fires on balconies are much more dangerous than those inside the building.
  • Never smoke in bed or when drowsy, intoxicated or medicated.
  • Keep cigarettes, lighters, matches and other smoking materials up high out of the reach of children, in a locked cabinet.
  • Make sure lighters have child-resistant safety features.
  • Teach young children that lighters and matches are not toys, and not to touch them.
  • Never allow anyone to smoke if there is medical oxygen being used.

Put it out

  • Use a deep, sturdy ashtray. Place it away from anything that can burn.
  • Don't let ashtrays become so full that hot ashes might spill over the side.
  • Soak butts and ashes with water before throwing them in the garbage.
  • Do not discard cigarettes in vegetation such as mulch, potted plants or landscaping, peat moss, dried grasses, leaves or other things that could ignite easily.


  • Fires have occurred while e-cigarettes were being used, the battery was being charged or the device was being transported.
  • Battery failures have led to small explosions.
  • Never leave charging e-cigarettes unattended.