Can a Candle in a Glass Jar Start a Fire
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Can a Candle in a Glass Jar Start a Fire? You Should Read This!

Candles aren’t merely for lighting anymore. They’re used for aesthetics in spas, restaurants, bathrooms, and many more places for their ambiance, especially in fancy glass jars. However, candle fires are getting popular too. So, can a candle in a glass jar start a fire? 

Yes, a candle in a glass jar can start a fire due to contaminants, high amounts of fragrance, poor-quality glass, or if it burns to the bottom.

But that’s not the whole story! Read on to find out how to burn candles in glass jars, the causes of candle fires, and 15 safety tips for doing it safely like a pro.

Let’s get blazing!

Can a Glass Candle Cause a Fire? Candle Fire Facts Revealed

Yes, candles in glass jars can cause fires, especially when they’re made from low-quality glass or wax.

In fact, up to 20 candle fires are reported from homes every day. Moreover, 2% of all house fires, 3% of deaths in these fires, and 6% of injuries owe it to the same. Furthermore, many candle fires are reported in December and January, thanks to the festival season.

Candle fire facts in USA

Data Statistics from 2015 to 2019
Candles caused 2% of reported home fires.
3% of home fire deaths.
6% of home fire injuries.
4% of the direct property damage in home fires.
37% of home candle fires started in bedrooms
(with 35% of deaths and 47% of injuries).
Falling asleep was a factor in 10% percent of the home candle fires
(with 12% of deaths).
20 home candle fires reported per day.
60% of home candle fires occurred when some form of combustible material
was left or came too close to the candle.
Source: NFPA Research Division.

Area of Fire Origin in Residential Structure Candle Fires

Type of Room in the HousePercent
Lounge area15.7
Other function areas9.2
Source: NFIRS 5.0 data only: Data Statistics from 2002 to 2004.

What are the causes of candle jars causing a fire?

While it’s safe to burn candles in glass jars, lousy placement of glass jar candles is often a common cause of fires.

Let’s look at its other causes.

Burning down all the wax

When a candle burns down to the last bit of wax, the glass can heat up to high temperatures. Hence, the glass can blast and spread around the wax and fire. Hence, always leave an inch or two of wax in the jar instead of burning it all the way to the bottom.


Unwanted chemicals in cheap waxes are a direct cause of candle fires.

So, they tend to cause large flames easily. As a result, the entire wax can burn and melt. Moreover, petals, seeds, and other elements in some candle jars may even release toxic fumes that harm the lungs when you breathe in.

Unsuitable glass

High temperatures generated by hot wax can crack, shatter, or explode low-quality glass. Ideally, glass jars for candles must be thick and non-porous to prevent cracking under high heat.

Too many wicks

Candle jars with one wick are the safest, while a glass jar with three or more wicks can easily start fires. That’s because several wicks increase the amount of heat. As a result, the wax melts quickly and cracks the jar.

High amounts of fragrance

Candle jars with excessive chemical fragrances such as essential oils can also generate huge flames that generate high heat. Hence, the glass can crack and spread the fire in such an event.

Never keep candle jars near flammable objects.
Never keep candle jars near flammable objects.

Is it OK to leave a candle burning all night?

No, you should never leave candles burning over four hours.

So, how long should you burn candles in glass jars? You shouldn’t burn candles for more than a couple of hours. Moreover, you should cool the glass jar for at least two hours after burning it for 3 to 4 hours before relighting.

Additionally, the best way to calculate the total time to burn a candle is based on its size.

Here’s a table to help you out:

1 inch1 hour
2 inches2 hours
4 inches4 hours
7 inches7 hours

However, note that the above can vary based on odd-shaped jars, type of wax, length of wick, and environment.

What are the best glass jars or containers to burn candles?

Candles in glass jars aren’t just aesthetic but excellent for keeping a check on the wax too. However, you should never compromise on quality when choosing a glass jar for burning candles.

Moreover, you should pick a non-flammable, heat-resistant, non-porous, and uncrackable jar. In addition, pick a jar that can fully contain the wax so that the wax doesn’t spread while melting.

15 Tips for burning candle in a glass jar

Burning candles safely isn’t rocket science. That said, 35% of candle fires in bedrooms led to deaths and 47% to injuries.

So, follow the below 15-pointer checklist to burn candles safely in glass jars:

  1. Always trim the wick of a candle to a quarter inch before lighting it up.
  2. Never leave candles unsupervised.
  3. Always keep a lit candle away from air currents, vents, and drafts to avoid burning or excess dripping.
  4. Avoid burning candles in closed rooms as they can use up all the oxygen.
  5. Make sure kids and pets can’t reach lit candles to prevent toppling over.
  6. Never keep candle jars near flammable objects.
  7. Always keep burning candles at least 12 inches away from flammable objects, drapes, furniture, books, carpets, curtains, decorations, and clothing.
  8. Never move a candle that’s liquified or burning.
  9. Always keep a gap of 3 inches between candle glass jars when lighting multiple candles.
  10. Never extinguish a candle with water, as hot wax can spread and break the glass jar in such a case.
  11. Always use a candle snuffer to put out a candle.
  12. Never got to sleep with a candle burning.
  13. Always keep your hair and clothing at a distance from a burning candle.
  14. Never keep candle glass jars on non-flat surfaces.
  15. Always keep a candle jar on a heat-resistant surface. Hence, you should always avoid plastic surfaces.
Burning Instructions to prevent fire and serious injury.
Burning Instructions to prevent fire and serious injury.

Burn your candles safely in glass jars

Candles in glass jars are aesthetic, functional, and portable. But that doesn’t mean they’re fireproof too. On the other hand, they can easily cause fires if you aren’t careful.

We learned five ways how these glass jar candles can cause sparks and fires that threaten life and property today. However, these are also dependent on how well you follow candle safety.

Hence, always invest in high-quality candles in glass jars as cheap glass can get overheated quickly.

Out of all the tips above, the most important one is about leaving a candle jar unattended. That’s because 37% of home candle fires are started in bedrooms. Shocking, right?

Before you go, ALWAYS pick high-quality glass jars, even when making DIY candle jars. Ideally, you should go for mason or canning jars as these are thick, non-porous, and non-flammable. Also, never burn candles in thin materials like wine glasses.

But if you want to be super safe, think about using flameless candles in your home.


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    1. The further the flame is from the edges and therefore from the glass, the better! A glass jar or bowl can also be a good compromise as long as their height is reasonable.

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