The most important candle safety tip you should remember:
Never leave a burning candle unattended!
Keep Candles Out of Reach of Children.
Do not burn candles near a child's play area, in a child's bedroom, or anywhere a child or pet may come into contact with a candle.
Burn Candles Within Sight
Be sure you can easily monitor your burning candle within visual range. If you need to leave, even for a short period of time, be sure to extinguish your candles first.
Keep the Candle Wick Trimmed
Trim the candle wick to 1/4" before lighting. Trimming helps to prevent the candle from smoking or dripping, which happens if the wick is too long. It also removes any minute particles that collect in the wick and could interrupt wax flow. However, tapers are the exception and their wicks should be left untrimmed (after the first trimming to 1/4"), though before relighting you may trim the very tip of the wick.
Adjust Flickering or Smoking Wick
If a candle is flickering either the wick is too long or it has small contaminants in it. Extinguish the candle, trim the wick to the proper length, and then relight your candle for a perfect candle burning experience.
Burn in a Draft-Free Environment
Place all burning candles away from drafts, fans, vents, open windows, high traffic areas, etc to avoid smoking or accidental wax dripping.
Burn in a Clutter-Free Environment
Remember to burn candles in a clutter-free area, away from drapes, furniture, clothing, bedding, books, paper and other flammable material.
Use a Candle Holder
All candles should use the proper candle holder or candle plate. This will help catch any spilled wax and protect surfaces from possible spills or heat damage.
As an example, votives must be used in a votive holder, as the burning votive is unable to hold it's own wax pool and will spill over the sides. Thus the votive holder becomes a part of the candle as it burns.
Place Candles on a Stable Surface
All burning candles should be placed on a flat surface that is heat resistant. This will help ensure the candle stays level to avoid dripping or spilling of the melting wax pool. Using a heat resistant surface will help avoid damage to the surface due to the heat generated by the candles.
Always Read Directions Before Burning
While most people agree that burning a candle is a very simple and fun process, it's still important to read and understand the burning instructions for each type of candle you intend to burn.
Keep the Wax Pool Clean
The wax pool is the small liquid pool of wax created around the wick while the candle is burning. For a candle to burn safely and successfully it's necessary to keep the melted wax pool clean. Things such as wick clippings, matches, and other contaminants should not be placed into the wax pool to burn along with the wax.
Properly Extinguish Your Candle
The safest way to extinguish your candle is to gently dip the wick into the wax using a metal tool such as a wick dipper, or a snuffer for tapers. This will ensure the flame is extinguished and also helps to avoid any smoking. After extinguishing the flame re-center the wick of the candle.
Using a snuffer is an alternative way to extinguish tapers or pillars, though the snuffed wick tends to release some smoke. Do not splash or drip water to extinguish the candle flame. The water will cause the hot wax to splatter.
Don't Use Candles as Night Lights
Even though it sounds romantic, candles should not be used as a night light. The likelihood of falling asleep while the candle is burning is just too risky.
Proper Candle Placement
Ideally candles should be spaced apart when burning, three or four inches is a good average range. This prevents each candle from unintentionally melting it's neighbor candle or creating artificial drafts.