Crawley firefighters use hydraulic gear to force open door after candle sets off alarm

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Firefighters forced a door open after an unattended candle set off a fire alarm.

West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (WSFRS) was called to the flat in London Road, Crawley, at 10.27pm on Wednesday (October 7).

The occupant was not home when the Turners Hill crew arrived.

A WSFRS spokesman said firefighters used hydraulic gear to open the door and put out the candle on the first floor window ledge.

The occupant was given fire safety advice after returning home.

The fire service advises: “Candles in the home are now getting a more and more popular way to add relaxation to our homes which has seen a large increase in the number of candle related incidents.

“In the year 2000 alone, there were over 2,000 house fires due to candles. As a result, 10 people died and over 900 were injured.

“As the sales of candles has gone up by 50 per cent this year, this trend is unfortunately going to continue unless people are educated as to the dangers of candles and the damage they can cause.

“Candles mark special occasions and create a special atmosphere. They also bring fire into your home. So treat them carefully.”

Always put candles on a heat resistant surface. Be especially careful with night lights and tea lights, which get hot enough to melt plastic. TVs are not fire-resistant objects.

Put them in a proper holder. Candles need to be held firmly upright by the holder so they won’t fall over. The holder needs to be stable too, so it won’t fall over either.

Position them away from curtains. Don’t put candles near curtains or other fabrics – or furniture. And keep them out of draughts.

Don’t put them under shelves. It’s easy to forget that there’s a lot of heat above a burning candle. If you put it under a shelf or other surface then it can burn the surface. Make sure there’s at least three feet (one metre) between a candle and any surface above it.

Keep clothes and hair away. If there’s any chance you could lean across a candle and forget it’s there, put it somewhere else. You don’t want to set fire to your clothes or your hair.

Keep children and pets away. Candles should be out of reach of children and pets.

Keep candles apart. Leave at least four inches (10cm) between two burning candles.

Take care with votive or scented candles. These kinds of candles turn to liquid to release their fragrance, so put them in a glass or metal holder.

Don’t move them when they’re burning. Extinguish candles before moving them. Also, don’t let anything fall into the hot wax like match sticks.

Don’t leave them burning. Extinguish candles before you leave a room. Never go to sleep with a candle still burning. And never leave a burning candle or oil burner in a child’s bedroom.

Use a snuffer or a spoon to put them out. It’s safer than blowing them, which can send sparks and hot wax flying.

Double-check they’re out. Candles that have been put out can go on smouldering and start a fire. Make sure they’re completely out.

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