How To Put Out A Candle


Materials needed

To successfully put out a candle, you’ll need a few essential materials. Gathering these items before attempting to extinguish a flame will ensure your safety and increase your chances of success. Here are the materials you’ll need:

  • A snuffer or candle extinguisher
  • A fire extinguisher (preferably a multipurpose or ABC extinguisher)
  • Water in a container or a spray bottle
  • Sand or baking soda
  • A wet towel or a fire blanket
  • A phone or a means of communication to call emergency services if necessary

These materials will assist you in combating various candle-related fire situations. Each item has its unique advantages for dealing with different types and sizes of flames. Remember to keep them easily accessible, preferably in a designated fire safety kit or an easily reachable location.

Having the necessary materials on hand will save valuable time during an emergency. It’s important to be prepared and know how to use each item safely and effectively. By investing in these simple yet essential materials, you can confidently handle any candle-related fire incidents that may arise.

Step 1: Assess the situation

Before taking any action to put out a candle, it’s crucial to carefully assess the situation. This step will help you determine the appropriate course of action and ensure your safety throughout the process. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Observe the flame: Take a moment to look at the candle and assess the size and intensity of the flame. Is it a small, controlled flame, or has it grown too large and become a potential hazard? Understanding the current state of the flame will guide your next steps.

2. Check the surrounding area: Examine the immediate area around the candle. Is there any flammable material nearby, such as curtains, papers, or decorations? Make sure to remove any combustible items from the vicinity to prevent the fire from spreading.

3. Consider the type of candle: Different types of candles require different approaches to extinguish them safely. For example, a jar candle may need to be snuffed out using a snuffer, while a pillar candle might require smothering with an extinguisher or suffocating with a wet towel. Knowing the type of candle will help you determine the most effective method to use.

4. Evaluate your abilities: Assess your own capability to handle the situation. Do you have the necessary materials and knowledge to proceed safely? If the fire appears to be rapidly spreading or becoming out of control, it’s essential to prioritize your safety and call emergency services immediately.

Remember: If at any point you feel unsure or unable to handle the situation, don’t hesitate to contact the appropriate authorities for assistance.

By taking the time to assess the situation, you can make informed decisions and act accordingly. This step sets the foundation for the remaining steps and ensures that you approach extinguishing the candle with a clear understanding of the circumstances involved.

Step 2: Remove any flammable items

When dealing with a candle fire, it’s crucial to remove any nearby flammable items to prevent the fire from spreading. Taking the time to clear the area will help minimize the risk and create a safer environment for extinguishing the flame. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Identify flammable objects: Look around the immediate area and identify any objects that are flammable, such as curtains, papers, or decorations. Even small items can quickly catch fire and intensify the situation, so be thorough in your assessment.

2. Safely remove objects: Carefully move the flammable items away from the candle. If the object is already on fire, use a non-flammable object, such as a oven mitt or tongs, to carefully remove it from the area. Be cautious to avoid spreading the fire while doing so.

3. Create a safe distance: Place the removed items at a safe distance from the candle flame. Ideally, these objects should be moved to a different room or stored in a fire-resistant container until the fire is completely extinguished.

4. Ensure proper ventilation: In addition to removing flammable objects, it’s important to ensure proper ventilation in the area. Opening windows or doors can help facilitate airflow and reduce the build-up of smoke and heat.

Note: If the fire has already spread beyond the immediate area and is becoming unmanageable, prioritize your safety and evacuate the premises immediately. Contact emergency services for assistance.

By quickly and effectively removing any flammable items from the vicinity of the candle, you’re significantly reducing the risk of the fire spreading and causing further damage. This step is crucial in creating a safe zone for the subsequent steps in extinguishing the flame.

Step 3: Use a snuffer

Using a snuffer is a safe and effective method to extinguish a candle flame without creating smoke or causing accidents. A candle snuffer is a tool specifically designed for this purpose, allowing you to gently and efficiently put out the flame. Here’s how to use a snuffer to extinguish a candle:

1. Hold the snuffer: Grasp the handle of the snuffer firmly with your hand, ensuring a secure grip. Position yourself at a comfortable distance from the candle, ready to perform the next steps.

2. Approach the flame: Slowly bring the snuffer closer to the candle flame, being cautious not to make contact yet. Maintain a steady hand and a controlled motion as you approach the flame.

3. Place the snuffer over the flame: Gently lower the snuffer’s bell-shaped end over the flame, completely covering it. The bell shape will effectively cut off the oxygen supply, gradually extinguishing the fire without creating smoke or causing any disturbance.

4. Wait for the flame to be fully extinguished: Keep the snuffer in place for a few seconds, allowing the flame to go out naturally within the confined space. Avoid rushing this step to ensure that the flame is completely extinguished before removing the snuffer.

5. Lift the snuffer and observe: Carefully lift the snuffer away from the candle, keeping it angled slightly downward to prevent any remaining soot or smoke from spreading. Observe the candle to ensure that the flame is entirely extinguished.

Using a snuffer is a simple yet effective way to safely put out a candle flame. It prevents wax from splattering and minimizes the risk of accidents. Remember to handle the snuffer with care, as it may become hot after use. If the flame is larger or the snuffer is not readily available, consider using alternative methods for extinguishing the candle flame.

Step 4: Smother the flame with an extinguisher

In situations where a candle fire has grown larger or become more difficult to control, using a fire extinguisher can be an effective method to smother the flame and quickly suppress the fire. Here’s how to use an extinguisher to put out a candle fire:

1. Retrieve the fire extinguisher: Locate and retrieve a fire extinguisher. It is recommended to use a multipurpose or ABC extinguisher, as these are suitable for various types of fires, including those involving flammable materials like candles.

2. Aim at the base of the flame: Hold the extinguisher upright and aim the nozzle at the base of the candle flame, not directly at the top. This helps to cut off the oxygen supply, which is essential for combustion.

3. Squeeze the handle: Firmly squeeze the handle of the extinguisher to release the extinguishing agent. Make sure to maintain a steady grip and control the flow of the agent as you apply it to the flame.

4. Sweep back and forth: While squeezing the handle, sweep the extinguisher side to side to cover the entire width of the flame. Maintain a steady motion and continue spraying until the flame is fully extinguished.

5. Monitor for any remaining embers: After the flame has been smothered, keep a close eye on the candle to ensure there are no remaining smoldering embers. If you spot any, repeat the process or use another extinguishing method to fully extinguish the fire.

Note: Remember to familiarize yourself with the specific instructions and guidelines provided by the manufacturer of the fire extinguisher. Different extinguishers may have slight variations in usage, but the general principles remain the same.

Using a fire extinguisher can be an effective way to quickly and efficiently extinguish a candle fire. It is important to keep in mind that fire extinguishers are designed for small to moderate-sized fires. If the fire grows too large or becomes unmanageable, prioritize your safety and evacuate the area while contacting emergency services for assistance.

Step 5: Pour water on the flame

When dealing with a candle fire that is not under control or has spread to nearby objects, using water can be an effective method to extinguish the flames. Water can quickly cool down the heat source and deprive the fire of the necessary heat to sustain combustion. Here’s how to safely pour water on a candle flame:

1. Prepare a container of water: Fill a container, such as a bucket or a bowl, with enough water to effectively extinguish the flame. Ensure that you have enough water to completely cover the burning area and any nearby objects that are on fire.

2. Stand at a safe distance: Position yourself at a safe distance from the flame, ensuring that you are at a reasonable distance away to protect yourself from heat and potential splattering of hot wax.

3. Gradually pour the water: Slowly and steadily pour the water from the container onto the candle flame. Aim to pour it directly onto the base of the flame to minimize the risk of splashing or spreading the fire.

4. Continue pouring as needed: If the flame persists or rekindles, continue pouring water until the flame is completely extinguished. Ensure that all embers and burning materials are thoroughly saturated and cooled down by the water.

5. Monitor and assess: After pouring water on the flame, carefully observe the area to ensure that the fire has been fully extinguished. Keep an eye out for any smoldering or hot spots that may require further attention or additional extinguishing methods.

Note: It is important to use caution when pouring water on a candle flame, as the sudden temperature change may cause the glass container or the candle itself to crack or shatter. Only pour water on the flame when the fire is small and manageable.

Using water to extinguish a candle flame can be an effective method, but it’s crucial to prioritize your safety and be prepared for the possibility of splattering wax and steam. If the fire becomes uncontrollable or too large, evacuate the area immediately and seek professional help by contacting emergency services.

Step 6: Use sand or baking soda to put out the fire

When dealing with a small candle fire, using sand or baking soda can be an effective method to extinguish the flames. Both sand and baking soda work by smothering the fire and cutting off the oxygen supply that keeps it burning. Here’s how to use sand or baking soda to put out a candle fire:

1. Locate sand or baking soda: Identify a container filled with sand or a box of baking soda. These materials are readily available and can be easily accessed in case of a fire.

2. Stand at a safe distance: Position yourself at a safe distance from the flame, ensuring you are not at risk of getting burned or inhaling smoke.

3. Apply the sand or baking soda: Carefully pour or sprinkle the sand or baking soda directly onto the candle flame, aiming for the base of the fire. Ensure that you cover the entire burning area with a generous amount of sand or baking soda.

4. Smother the flame: Use a non-flammable object, such as a shovel or a cloth, to gently press down on the sand or baking soda to smother the flame completely. This will further reduce the oxygen supply, ensuring that the fire is fully extinguished.

5. Monitor for any remaining signs of fire: After smothering the flame, closely monitor the candle to ensure there are no remaining embers or signs of the fire reigniting. If necessary, apply more sand or baking soda and repeat the process to guarantee the fire is completely put out.

Note: Avoid using materials that can generate heat or react with fire, such as flour or powdered sugar. Additionally, do not attempt to use water in combination with sand or baking soda, as it can create a messy and ineffective mixture.

Using sand or baking soda to extinguish a small candle fire can be an effective and safe method. However, if the fire is spreading rapidly or becomes unmanageable, prioritize your safety and evacuate the area. Contact emergency services immediately for professional assistance in handling the fire.

Step 7: Use a wet towel or blanket to suffocate the flame

Another effective method to extinguish a candle flame is by using a wet towel or blanket to suffocate the fire. This method works by cutting off the oxygen supply, which is necessary for combustion. Here’s how to use a wet towel or blanket to suffocate a candle flame:

1. Locate a wet towel or blanket: Find a clean towel or blanket and soak it in water. Ensure that it is thoroughly wet but not dripping excessively.

2. Stand at a safe distance: Position yourself at a safe distance from the flame, taking care to protect yourself from heat and any potential hot wax splattering.

3. Close off the oxygen supply: Gently but firmly place the wet towel or blanket directly over the candle flame. Ensure that it covers the entire burning area and any surrounding combustible materials.

4. Press down to suffocate the flame: Carefully press down on the towel or blanket, smothering the flame and suppressing the fire. Apply enough pressure to extinguish the flame but be cautious to avoid spreading the fire or causing any further damage.

5. Monitor for any remaining signs of fire: After suffocating the flame, keep a close eye on the candle to ensure there are no remaining embers or signs of the fire rekindling. If needed, repeat the process with a fresh wet towel or blanket until the fire is fully extinguished.

Note: After using a wet towel or blanket to suffocate the flame, be mindful that the fabric may be hot. Avoid touching it with bare hands until it has cooled down.

Using a wet towel or blanket is an effective and accessible method to extinguish a candle flame. However, if the fire has spread beyond the immediate area or is becoming uncontrollable, evacuate the premises immediately and call emergency services for professional assistance.

Step 8: Call emergency services if necessary

In the event that a candle fire becomes unmanageable, quickly spreading, or poses a significant risk to your safety, it is important to immediately call emergency services. The expertise and resources of firefighters can help mitigate the potential damage and ensure the safety of everyone involved. Here’s what you need to do when you need to call emergency services:

1. Assess the severity of the situation: Evaluate the size of the fire, whether it has spread beyond your control, or if there are any immediate risks to your safety. It’s better to err on the side of caution and call for professional assistance if you feel uneasy or uncertain about your ability to handle the situation.

2. Dial emergency services: In many countries, the emergency services number is 911. However, it may vary depending on your location. Dial the appropriate emergency number and clearly communicate your address or location to the operator. Stay calm and provide as much information about the fire as possible.

3. Follow the operator’s instructions: The emergency operator will guide you through necessary steps while you wait for firefighters to arrive. Follow their instructions carefully and provide any additional details they may request.

4. Take precautions and evacuate if necessary: If the fire grows rapidly or poses an immediate threat to your safety, evacuate the premises in a safe and orderly manner. Alert others in the vicinity and ensure everyone moves to a designated meeting point away from the fire.

5. Cooperate with emergency responders: When firefighters arrive at the scene, provide them with any relevant information regarding the fire’s location, size, and potential hazards. Cooperate fully with their instructions and support their efforts to extinguish the fire effectively.

Remember that emergency services are trained to handle fire emergencies and have the necessary equipment to contain and extinguish fires safely. Calling for professional assistance can significantly reduce the risk of injury and property damage.

Keep in mind that it is always better to be safe than sorry. If you have any doubts about your ability to handle a fire on your own, do not hesitate to call emergency services immediately.

Step 9: Practice fire safety

Preventing fires in the first place is crucial to ensure the safety of yourself, your loved ones, and your property. By practicing fire safety measures, you can reduce the risk of fire incidents and minimize the potential damage they can cause. Here are some essential fire safety tips to follow:

1. Keep an eye on burning candles: Never leave a candle burning unattended. Always extinguish candles before leaving the room or going to bed. It is essential to have a responsible adult present and vigilant when candles are lit.

2. Place candles away from flammable objects: Keep candles at least 12 inches away from flammable materials such as curtains, furniture, papers, or decorations. Ensure they are placed on stable surfaces and cannot be easily knocked over.

3. Use candle holders: Always place candles in appropriate holders to prevent them from tipping over or coming into direct contact with flammable surfaces. Opt for holders made of non-combustible materials like glass, ceramic, or metal.

4. Install smoke detectors: Ensure your home is equipped with working smoke detectors on every floor, especially near sleeping areas. Regularly test them and replace batteries as needed. Smoke detectors are crucial in providing early warning signs of fire.

5. Have a fire extinguisher: Keep a fire extinguisher in an easily accessible location in your home. Read the instructions and familiarize yourself with its proper usage. It’s also essential to have proper training in operating a fire extinguisher safely.

6. Know escape routes: Develop an escape plan and share it with everyone in your household. Familiarize yourself with multiple escape routes from each room and conduct regular fire drills to practice your response and evacuation procedures.

7. Avoid overloading electrical outlets: Do not overload electrical outlets or extension cords. Use surge protectors and follow manufacturer guidelines for safe usage. Faulty wiring or overloaded circuits can lead to electrical fires.

8. Store flammable materials safely: Keep flammable materials, such as lighters, matches, and cleaning products, in a secure place away from heat sources. Properly dispose of any oily rags or other potentially combustible materials.

9. Educate family members: Teach your family members, including children, about fire safety. Teach them how to safely handle matches, lighters, and candles, and educate them on the importance of fire safety practices.

By implementing these fire safety measures, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of a fire occurring in your home. Stay proactive, remain alert, and prioritize the safety of yourself and those around you. Remember, fire safety is a collective responsibility that requires ongoing awareness and vigilance.