The biggest cause of fatal fires is gunfire. For example, smoking and using candles, says department director Johann Marius Li at the Directorate of Civil Protection and Emergency Planning (DSB).
The country’s fire service assumes candles were a source of ignition in 92 building fires in the past 12 months, according to brannstatistikk.no.
Sturle Hagen of the Norwegian Fire Protection Association emphasizes that fire risks are related to human behavior and not necessarily age.
At the same time, we know that the risk of dying in a fire increases as you get older. Hagen says people over 70 are four to five times more likely to die from a fire than the rest of the population.
– With age, you are not so quick to deal with bones. Says Arnt E. Folvik in the Vestfold Interkommunale Brannvesen for Vi.no. Fire can quickly become demanding to deal with, and most importantly to get out alive.
– May cause fatal fires
according to Insurance Statistics In 2020, $326 million in damages was paid out after 607 fires reportedly caused by “open fire and heat” – matches, smoking, candles and barbecues.
For each fire, smoke values above 500,000 NOK rise.
Candles can lead to fatal fires. A candle is forgotten, a fire occurs, and without enough smoke alarms audible in all rooms could be a scenario, says Volvik.
Another scenario he highlights is that clothing can catch on fire:
Especially insulating sleeves or wide sleeves are dangerous. Hence it is very easy for the candle flame to get swept away when leaned over a table. It is not really necessary to explain how dangerous and painful these fires approach the body.
Always blow out the candles!
Thus, candles were the source of ignition for 92 building fires in 2020.
Exactly how bad, but still good, this Facebook post from Vestfold Interkommunale Brannvesen could be:
A candle, perhaps with a candle tip, was forgotten, and it burned a little in the table top. A neighbor smelled smoke and called the fire department.
We repeat our motto: Always blow out the candles when you leave the room, even for a short time. Because it’s so easy to forget, Fire Chief Svein Helge Skjerdal says in a Facebook post:
In this case, a light bracelet is included in the photo. In general, the DSB warns against candles and combustible materials such as algae, driftwood, twigs, cones, etc.
Volvik says that a small fire in the starting stage can often be put out with a glass of water or extinguishing spray — but he emphasizes:
– If the fire is rapidly increasing in size, drop the extinguishing attempt, the first priority is to get out. Call 110 and let the firefighters take over the firefighting job.
And make sure you have enough smoke alarms.
—If you’re sitting and sleeping in the chair, sometimes you have to get help from a howling smoke alarm to be able to respond at all in the event of a fire, says Wulvik.
– Use LED lights
The Fire Protection Association, DSB, and the Fire Service all recommend that light bulbs be on the safe side.
It is comically easy to prevent candles from becoming a bright candle that threatens life and values, says Wulvik, and continues:
Use battery powered candles with LED bulb. Many of them turned out really nice and are an excellent alternative to the paraffin/candle fire you have on the table or in the window sill.
If you still choose a blazing light, the call is crystal clear:
We repeat our motto: Always blow out the candles when you leave the room, even for a short time. Because it is easy to forget. And every time you leave the house or before you go to sleep, you do a quick check: That the stove is off and you haven’t forgotten anything else that could start a fire, says fire chief Sven Helge Schgerdal.
Gardeners at the Fire Protection Association also points out that one should be aware when using tealights:
Experiments have shown that small candles can contain pockets of paraffin that can lead to inflammation within a short period of time. So you should make sure that the small candles have a good distance from combustible materials and that you do not put too many candles too close to each other.
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