Should I Use Candles in a Blackout?


Georgia residents are no strangers to power outages, and when there is one, they have to turn to something to light up their homes, such as candles. But why does Georgia have power outages? There are several reasons, such as trees, snow, animals, ice, and storms to name a few culprits.

Georgia Power defines an outage as, “...when your lights go off and stay off for more than a few seconds. This can be caused for a variety of reasons, including storms, downed trees, or even a vehicle hitting a power line pole.”

Here are a few facts about power outages:

  • Believe it or not, trees cause power outages more than anything else. If a broken limb or branch touches a power line, it can cause service to be interrupted.
  • Animals, especially squirrels can affect the power supply.
  • When snow or ice accumulates, they can weigh down power lines, leading to an outage.
  • Lightning can strike a tree, causing it to fall down on a power line, leading to a power outage.
  • If a car crashes into a pole, it can cause a power outage.
  • If a crane accidentally touches a power line, it can cause a power outage.

Now that you’re more familiar with the causes of power outages in Georgia, let’s discuss the issue of using candles to light your home when there is a blackout, which is just another term for “power outage.” Are they safe? Or should you use another light source the next time the power is down for hours?

Are Candles Safe to Use?

If you have a bunch of kids or pets running around, you may not want to turn to candles to light your home during a power outage, but that’s up to you.

“One utilitarian option is to raid your emergency go-bag for its 100 hour candle. These 1-pound light grenades burn liquid paraffin, which produces odorless, smokeless light for the better part of three days. And since the fuel is sealed in the container with only the wick exposed, you can safely snuff it out, store it, and use it again for the next blackout. Just make sure you open a window for ventilation,” wrote Andrew Tarantola in GIZMODO.

If you are interested in using candles over say, jug lamps or electric lamps, make sure you become educated on candle safety from the National Candle Safety Association (NCA).

Here are a few of the NCA’s safety tips:

  • When you have a burning candle, always keep it in sight.
  • Keep all burning candles out of reach of children and pets.
  • Only use candle holders that are designed for candles.
  • Place candles (in candle holders) on stable, heat resistant surfaces only.
  • Do not place candles near vents, air currents, ceiling fans, or drafts.
  • Only burn candles in well-ventilated rooms.

Next: Tornado Tips from an Electrician

For all of your electrical needs, contact Lightning Bug Electric to schedule a service call!

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