Lucky escape after candle explodes inside home

We are urging people to make sure their smoke alarms are working properly following a lucky escape when a candle exploded overnight in Burntwood and wasn’t found until the next morning.

The candle, placed within a container with LED lights, had been left accidentally on 18 March when it overheated and exploded when the home-owner was sleeping.

The candle caused smoke damage to the inside of the home.

Crucially, the smoke alarm inside the house had been removed a few weeks before because it kept beeping, meaning that the person inside had no way of knowing it had exploded until she found it the next morning (19 March).

After it was reported to us, we fitted two new smoke alarms inside the home and spoke with the homeowner about how to keep safe in the future.

Prevent Team Delivery Lead Mark Downes said: “This was a lucky escape and clearly shows how quickly things can go wrong if you don’t have working smoke alarms in your home.

“The candle could have easily spread beyond control and resulted in a fatality if the person inside didn’t know until it was too late.

“It’s really important you never leave candles unattended and keep them away from anything that could catch fire such as curtains, furniture or clothes.

“Buying a smoke alarm could help save your home and the lives of you and your family if an accident like this was to happen.

“The number of smoke alarms to fit in your home depends on your particular circumstances. Fires can start anywhere, so the more that are fitted, the higher the level of protection.

“For maximum protection, an alarm should be fitted in every room (except bathrooms as steam may trigger the alarm).

“If your home is on one floor, one smoke alarm, preferably of the optical type, may be enough to provide you with early warning of a fire.

“If your home has more than one floor, at least one alarm should be fitted on each level. In this case a combination of optical and ionisation alarms, preferably interconnected, will give the best protection.

“Thankfully, on this occasion, injury was avoided and we were able to help the homeowner take the necessary steps to make sure they are best protected in the future.”

For more information around candle safety, visit the Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service website.