Candles have many hidden hazards – especially when they are in inadequate or unsafe containers.
According to a study conducted by the National Fire Protection Association, from 2007 to 2011 U.S. fire departments responded to approximately 10,630 home fires caused by candles per year. Tragically, these home fires resulted in an annual average of 115 civilian deaths. More than half of these home candle fires occurred when a combustible material was kept in close of a proximity to the flame. These combustible materials include but are certainly not limited to curtains, blinds, drapery, cabinetry, and upholstered furniture.
Many candles come in decorative containers such as coconuts or something else with a rounded bottom. There is a hidden hazard as the wick burns, the weight distribution in the container can cause it to tip over and send the lit wick outside the container and travel to a flammable material. Another hidden hazard is when the container does not adequately contain the heat generated and can ignite the surface material under the candle.
There are many other hazards. For example, on January 8th, 2015, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a total recall on CoScentrix’s DD Brand Candles due to numerous reports of the candle’s flame igniting the surface of the wax, posing a severe fire hazard. These decorative candles were sold online and at Hobby Lobby retail stores nationwide. Consumers have been instructed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission to immediately cease using the product and return them to the nearest Hobby Lobby retail store.
Sadly, the consumer is unaware of these dangers and the result can be a horrific burn injury. Because candles pose significant safety hazards – whether from surrounding combustible material or the candle itself – the manufacturer and seller should be required to adequately test their product to make sure it is safe for its foreseeable uses. They should manufacture a safer candle and, where they cannot, they should at least adequately warn the consumer.
If you have been injured by a candle or any other dangerous or defective product, do not hesitate to contact one of the experienced attorneys at Swartz & Lynch LLP. You may be entitled to compensation for the injuries you have incurred.