Do you like to relax at the end of the work week with a long soak in a bathtub with soft candlelight and soothing music? Does a candle-lit meal taste more delicious and feel like more of an occasion than a hasty snack in front of the television? Candlelight is often associated with pleasant, relaxing and sensuous experiences, but it’s important not to relax too much around candles.

With homeowners insurance, Maine residents are protected from some of the financial implications of a fire that damages or destroys their home. Although no one wants to experience a house fire, many blazes are started when homeowners light candles.

Here are a few reminders about using candles safely:

– Be careful where you place a candle, and keep it at least a foot away from anything that is likely to catch fire.
– Place candles on uncluttered, flat surfaces and use sturdy, stable candleholders designed for that purpose.
– Never leave candles to burn unattended. Extinguish them before you leave a room or go to bed.
– If you’re planning to use candles on dining room tables, avoid wearing clothes made from floaty fabrics and garments that have trailing scarves or dangling sleeves that can easily fall into a flame unnoticed.

Candles are often used to provide a light source during power outages. This is a risky practice; flashlights provide much safer and effective emergency lighting. Be prepared for power outages by keeping an emergency kit in a handy place. The kit should contain a flashlight as well as contact numbers for your power provider, emergency services and your Maine home insurance agent or insurer.