LED Candles, scented candles, and holiday light displays are becoming a hot topic again as the winter holidays begin. For instance, a popular news story is that people wished Anderson Cooper had stuck with LED lights and not pulled a stinky scented candle prank at his holiday party. LED lights are becoming popular at the Biltmore Mansion’s annual holiday lights celebration, according to a Kingsport Times report.
However, news about candles is not always positive and often moves towards discussions about using LED candles as an alternative to the real thing. On November 18, a federal agency, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), issued a statement that CoScentrix Candles were being recalled. The CPSC states they were scented candles and that the main distributor is Hobby Lobby.
In a Consumer Affairs report, it was stated that the candles were a hazard.
“The candles’ high flame can ignite the surface of the wax, posing a fire hazard. The company has received 29 reports of the candle’s surface igniting and nine reports of property damage. One injury has been reported.”
National Fire Safety Week 2014 was held October 5-11 to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of October 8-10, 1871. Nevertheless, because traditional candles cause hazards — especially during the December holidays — publications like the Herald of Everett in Washington state are publishing articles that talk about preventing candle-related fires. According to the Herald, candle fires are common.
“Candles start fires here in Snohomish County almost every year. One of the worst was an October 2011 blaze at downtown Everett’s Strand Hotel, which displaced more than two dozen people.”
Promoting holiday lights that include LED candles as a viable alternative to traditional candles is the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). A top authority in fire prevention, the NFPA states that holidays were especially dangerous for candle fires.
“The top three days for home candle fires were Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Christmas Eve.”
However, Christmas is not the only December holiday that has the LED candles debate. Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, and Kwanzaa are other holidays that use candles — and could use LED candles. At Cornell University, holiday decorating guidelines include documentation that states, “battery operated LED candles ‘preferred.'”
Other published information promoting LED candles comes from fire departments that are promoting alternatives to traditional candles as being worry-free. For example, the Kitsap, Washington Central Fire Department published on their website.
“Overwhelmed by the chore of keeping a close watch on your candles? Don’t despair, LED battery operated candles are a safe alternative to open flame candles. They are fire safe and are the perfect way to create an attractive, welcoming ambiance this holiday season. … They are ideal for fire safe holiday decorations, mantles, bathrooms, children’s rooms, and your college child’s dorm or apartment.”
[Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons]