Decades of fire safety advice have convinced the public that using candles is dangerous.
The thing is, they don’t have to be. Just by applying a little common sense you can use a candle and minimise the risk they pose.
I tend to wash out and keep glass jars with locking lids. Things like cooking sauce jars or jam jars tend to work well.
When they are cleaned out thoroughly after the jam or sauce has been used, you can sit a candle inside the jar itself. Now key here is to make sure the top of the candle does not go past the neck of the glass jar.
This has benefits over using a single candle on a saucer or small plate:
- Safety – even if the jar gets knocked over, the candle will fall against the glass. The naked flame will not come into contact with the carpet. (If and only if the candle is small enough not to pass the neck of the jar.)
- The jar itself acts as a windshield, giving a stable flame and level of light.
- You can extinguish the candle by putting the metal lid back on. The flame will burn up the oxygen available to it and self extinguish.
Words of warning:
Obviously if you tip the jar upside down the candle will fall out, but for most tips and falls the candle will remain in the jar.
Ensure there is plenty of space between the wall of the candle and the wall of the glass jar.
You want the glass to let the light of the candle through, but you do not want the glass jar to heat up to a level where the glass cracks. (This has happened to me with candles bought from a shop that were poured into a decorative jar at the factory.)
Do not try this with plastic jars or jars whose lids have a plastic covering.
As ever, this is just an idea and you are responsible for your own safety. If in doubt. Don’t do it!