A candle is a flammable wick embedded in a flammable solid substance such as tallow or wax to provide light. In some cases, candles are used for fragrance. A candle has been used in earlier times as a method of measuring time or for heat. The first candles were made from tallow by the Romans around 500 BC. Before the candle, oil lamps were used in which a lit wick rested in the liquid oil container.
In the home, candles serve many purposes such as ambient lighting, reducing electricity consumption, adding a pleasant aroma, and creating a small but powerful heat source. When it comes to the flame of a candle, you need to follow safety practices to avoid any kind of hazards. When you go to bed and fall asleep unintentionally, the flickering flame can even catch fire. So, one should not sleep while the candle is still burning.
What Are The Risks Of Sleeping With A Candle?
Most people think that every danger is minimal until it happens terribly to them or someone they know. You should know what hazards are linked with the candles even if you are not sleeping. However, candles are dangerous.
There Is The Possibility Of Secondary Ignition
Secondary ignition occurs when the debris falls into the flame or wax and catches fire. The type of debris is not only limited to leaves from a nearby plant but also to throwing unused matches into the flame. Also, lint and dust particles can catch fire when they come near the flame of a candle. When you sleep with candles burning, you never know what comes near the candle such as an unlucky fly or something flammable to catch fire.
Candle kindling occurs when the molten wax is ignited by the flame of the lit wick. When this happens, within seconds the candle goes from a lovely flicker of light to a small blaze of fire. If you are awake, you might take safety measures to put out the fire but what happens when you are asleep. The flames can spread to the nearby objects and catch fire.
The Glass Can Break
Glass is a popular and most used material for contained and freestanding candles. Glass is not flammable but once it gets too hot, it breaks. Some candles come with a warning of not leaving the candle burning for more than four hours. It is to eliminate the liability of glass breaking due to heat that causes several other damages.
If you sleep with a candle burning in the glass, it does not mean that you just have to replace the candle holder or candle the next day. If the glass explodes when heated by a candle it can fly in all directions. Hence, it can cause injuries and sometimes severe injuries.
The Glass Can Burn The Surface Below
If the glass does not break but if you place it on a surface that burns easily such as fabric or plastic, you would end up with a charred ring on the coaster, shelf, or counter. The burn marks are not dangerous but they show that unattended flame is a possible danger.
If the candle runs out and you are awake, you can put out the fire before the bottom of the glass gets too hot. However, if you let the candle go out itself, then it is risky.
Can Be Easily Knocked Over
Do you live where earthquakes are frequent or do you have pets? Such hazards linked with sleeping with candles might not seem dangerous when you are awake. At night if your pet jumps on the safe table and knocks the burning candle over, the nearby flammable material can catch fire. Even if you are awake, free-roaming pets can increase the dangers of burning candles.
Natural disasters such as earthquakes can strike in the middle of the night. It might not be a severe one to wake you up but a lighter one to shake the shelves. If you leave the candle burning, it can be knocked over, making it risky for you. However, earthquakes are unlikely to happen every day, but you never know. Hence, you end up paying a high price for negligence.
The Candle Can Be Toxic
What we inhale as the candle burns is mostly not a concern for most people. For example, scented and paraffin candles release chemicals, lead or soot into the air. If you use such candles in the home, you are causing indoor air pollution. As a result, it affects the respiratory system. For example, people with asthma should take extreme measures to avoid any kind of respiratory hazards of sleeping by burning candles.
Even the best candle scents for insomnia can increase the risk of sleeping with candles if the room is not ventilated. If you keep the candle burning for more than recommended burning time, it increases the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. The odds are low but you should not avoid even a little hazard of sleeping with burning candles.
How To Keep The Candles Burning Safely
- It is always beneficial to read the manufacturer’s guide and safety instructions before use. The recommended burning time given by the manufacturer should be followed strictly. So, be sure the scented candle is out before going to sleep.
- When 2 inches of wax remains at the bottom of the candle, you should put out the candle. It is a recommended standard time to put out the burning candle. If the candle is contained in its holder, then 1/2 inch is the recommended standard time to put out the candle.
- Long or twisted wicks cause the candle to burn unevenly. It happens when the wax leaks out. As a result, there are higher chances of catching fire. Also, if the candle is in a glass, an unevenly burning candle can cause the glass to heat up and crack. Hence, you should keep the wicks to 1/4 inch to alleviate the uneven wick burning.
- Regularly check and clean the area around the candle for matches, a buildup of wax, debris, and wick clippings. All of these are potential hazards of fire.
Alternative Candle Options
Instead of keeping the candles burning overnight, you can use safe alternatives. The main purpose of keeping the candles burning is warm and cozy lights with scents. Instead of sleeping in hazards, you can use safe alternatives.
Flameless candles come in different shapes and sizes. Instead of having a burning wick, they have battery-operated flashing wicks. If you want to have a candle ambiance in the room when you go to the bed, flameless candles are the best option.
Fairy lights are one of the six small changes in your bedroom that will improve your sleep. They are a great alternative to candles because of their versatility. When it comes to having a luxurious look in the bedroom at night, you can use fairy lights. They are safer, cheaper, and less hazardous than candles.
You can hang the fairy lights behind the head of the bed or around the walls, window frames, doors, etc. Also, you can clip them with paintings or frames in the room.
Amber light radiating from a salt lamp induces a calm effect in the room. It gives you a relaxing and peaceful environment. Also, amber is the perfect color for inducing sleep.
As you know essential oils can help with sleeping issues, so you can use an essential oil diffuser. It does more than just emit scents. Some come with a built-in ultrasonic humidifier. It helps to keep the air moist and you get scented air in the bedroom. Also, some oil diffusers come with candle shapes and ambient light to make the room filled with cozy lighting. Hence, you get a refreshing fragrance and lighting without hazards.
Sleeping With Candles – Is It Safe Or Not
Candles have been used as one of the best tricks to fall asleep quickly because they make the room warm and bright. A burning candle might not seem to be a danger but if you sleep with candles, you increase the risk of fire. A burning candle can be hazardous in various ways such as uneven wick-burning can break the glass and cause an injury.
The main purpose of sleeping with a burning candle is to have a cozy light and scent in the room. Instead of using a candle, you can go for the alternatives such as oil diffusers, salt lamps, fairy lights, flameless candles, etc. These alternatives are safer and more effective than a candle. Hence, you sleep with ambiance and refreshing fragrance while eliminating the hazards of burning candles.