FIRE chiefs have issued an urgent warning that there could be more deadly candle fires this winter because of Covid.

There are hundreds of fires each year caused by candles and around 40% end with someone killed or injured.

And fire safety experts fear that with more people at home because of the pandemic there could be more than normal this year.

Winter celebrations like Halloween and Guy Fawkes are times of high risk of tragedies can because people want to give them that traditional feel with a set of candles.

This week is Candle Fire Safety Week and local fire chiefs are asking people to make sure they ‘snuff out’ any risks.

Around a third of the fires caused by candles are in homes with children or dependants.

Most candle fires happen at night and in the living room or bedroom. Many are because people fall asleep or become distracted.

Sometimes people are using candles to add cheer to a celebration, other times people are using scented candles or they just want to brighten up the dark nights.

But for whatever reason fire experts say a smoke alarm, and precautions are essential.

Top Tips:

• never leave lit candles unattended. Always put them out when you leave the room, even for a moment

• place candles carefully on a stable surface, out of the reach of pets and children

• keep away from flammable objects like curtains, furniture, bedding and books

• don’t move candles once they are lit

• do not burn several candles close together as this might cause the flame to flare

• only burn candles in a well-ventilated room, out of drafts, vents or air currents - to help prevent rapid or uneven burning, soot, and dripping.

• put candles out with a snuffer or a spoon - sparks can fly if you blow them out

• always put scented candles in a heat resistant holder – they’re designed to liquefy when heated to maximum fragrance

• fit a smoke alarm and test it monthly

• make sure that everyone knows what to do if a fire happens– and practise your escape route

• If there is a fire, get out, stay out and call 999.