PEOPLE are being urged to take care with candles this winter.
If left unattended candles can leave a “trail of devastation” say fire chiefs who are encouraging residents to make sure they are lit away from flammable materials.
Cleveland Fire Brigade say more than 40 per cent of all fires started by candles result in death or injury.
Ahead of Candle Fire Safety Week next week, they are now asking people to make sure they don’t leave candles unattended and to check for a working smoke alarm.
Les Jones, Cleveland Fire Brigade’s head of community safety, said: “Candles are a typical sight in many homes, scenting our rooms and giving an atmospheric glow to cold winter nights.
“But it’s important to remember that a candle is not just a decorative feature.
“Left unattended, an open flame scenting your home could leave a trail of devastation.
“Place your lit candles with extra care, away from curtains, pets and children and always remember to put them out when you leave the room, even for a moment.”
“Even with these precautions it’s vital to be prepared should the worst happen.
“A working smoke alarm can give you the vital time you need to get out, stay out and call 999.”
Cleveland Fire Brigade offers residents a free home fire safety visit and free smoke alarms will be supplied and fitted if needed. To arrange a visit call (01429) 874063.