Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Candle fire - no working smoke alarms

Alderton Way, Loughton
03/10/2021 @ 21:16
Incident Number: 153560
In attendance: 1 x Loughton, 1 x Waltham Abbey

Firefighters have given safety advice after a candle caused a house fire in Loughton earlier this evening.

Firefighters from Loughton and Waltham Abbey Fire were called to a house fire in Alderton Way, Loughton after the resident heard the fire burning on the landing upstairs.

On arrival, crews reported that first floor in the house was heavily smoke logged after a candle burning on a table had caused a fire.

Crews extinguished the fire by 9:35pm.

The property had no working smoke alarms and firefighters fitted two smoke alarms after extinguishing the fire.

Firefighters from Loughton Fire Station will be visiting neighbouring properties in the area over the coming days to give candle safety advice as well as smoke alarm advice.

A fire service spokesperson said: “The resident was very lucky that they were awake to hear the candle burning. If this incident had happened at night and the resident did not have working smoke alarms to alert them, this could have been a very different incident.

“We recommend you have a least one working smoke alarm on every level of your home and that you test them regularly.

“We also recommend you blow candles out when you need to leave the room, even if it is only for a moment. Candles aren’t dangerous if you use them safely.”

Here are a few simple precautions you should take when using candles or tea light in the home:

  • Make sure candles are secured in a proper holder and are away from materials that may catch fire
  • Children should not be left alone with lit candles
  • Put candles out when you leave the room, and make sure they’re put out completely at night
  • Keep the wax pool clear of wick trimmings, matches and debris at all times
  • Burn candles in a well-ventilated room, but avoid drafts, vents or air currents. This will help prevent rapid or uneven burning, sooting, and excessive dripping
  • Trim the wick to ¼ inch each time before burning. Long or crooked wicks can cause uneven burning, dripping or flaring
  • Don’t move candles once they are lit
  • Follow the manufacturer's recommendations on burn time and proper use
  • Do not burn several candles close together as this might cause flaring

Do you have working smoke alarms in your home?

Smoke alarms save lives. They can alert your family as well as your neighbours and passers by to a fire in your home if you're not in.

We recommend you have at least one working smoke alarm on every level of your home and that you test them at least once a month.

If you or someone you know doesn’t have working smoke alarms at home, please get in touch with our Service. Visit or call 0300 303 0088.

Could you be an on-call firefighter?

Waltham Abbey Fire Station is recruiting on-call firefighters; people who all live or work within 5 minutes of an on-call fire station and attend incidents.

If you live or work within 5 minutes of an on-call fire station, you could be an on-call firefighter.

Find out more about the role at

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