Londoners are ignoring simple life-saving advice on how to avoid candle fires at home, firefighters are warning.
New figures from London Fire Brigade show that in the last five years, the number of fires caused by candles has barely changed.
There are around 270 candle fires every year despite consistent campaigns and messaging around how to stay safe at home.
Cooking fires over the same period have reduced by more than 20% .
Assistant Commissioner for Fire Safety, Dan Daly, said: “Fires are absolutely devastating and it’s tragic there have been 40 deaths from fires started by candles over the last 10 years which are often easily avoidable.
“It’s clear people are ignoring our safety advice and they think these fires won’t happen to them, but they can and they do.
“We would urge everyone to take a few minutes to think about how to keep safe at home. It’s simple advice which everyone can follow and which could save lives.”
As part of a bid to tackle the issue, the Brigade is rolling out a project to issue free LED tea lights to communities across London. The battery powered lights are a safer alternative to burning real candles.
The project follows on from a scheme in Harrow last year where firefighters worked with the Hindu community to give out 2,000 LED tea lights to address the issue of fires starting in religious shrines.
Of the 264 candle fires in 2018, more than 15% of them occurred when candles were being burned for religious reasons.
Firefighters will be distributing hundreds of the LED lights to people across London, working with partners to identify those who are at risk of having candle-related fires.
The project has been funded by the Brigade’s Community Investment Fund, which was set up to help protect individuals and communities across London.
Assistant Commissioner Daly added: “Not only are candles a risk as they can set fire to things like curtains and clothing, but they often burn through their inadequate holders and start fires.
“LED lights are a safer alternative and we’re pleased to be able to provide them to a wider group of people.”
For more information please visit: www.london-fire.gov.uk