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What You Need to Know Before Buying Emergency Candles

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Candles have multiple applications in today’s world. They are retained for their aesthetic value and fragrances, especially to create an ambient setting. They are used for religious and ritual purposes. Most households, however, stock candles for emergency lighting during electrical power failures. These are the type of candles we shall be focusing on throughout this article.

We are about to unpack everything about emergency candles; their benefits, shortcomings, alternate solutions, and what keeps them relevant and important in the presence of more advanced options for your lighting and heating problems. We shall provide everything you need to know before buying emergency candles to help you decide whether you need them, and if you do, when to buy and what to look for.

What Are Emergency Candles?

These are more rugged candles mainly used to provide light in a room in the event of a power outage. They are designed to burn for long periods without producing a lot of soot and unnecessary scents.

Other Emergency Lighting Options

There are plenty of other options you can opt for during power outages. These include flashlights, headlamps, oil lamps, LED lamps, propane lamps, glow sticks, among many others.

These alternatives produce more light that is stable and doesn’t flicker with the wind. (The candle’s luminous intensity is many times lower than your regular light bulb). They don’t rely on flames, which makes them a safer alternative in emergencies where there are potential gas leaks. Their overall safety rating might also be higher than the candle whose open flame can spark fires if it accidentally topples over or is blown toward a fuel source.

These alternate light sources also have their shortcomings which candles are not subjected to. They need to be powered from somewhere and you will need access to batteries, chargers, propane tanks, or oil. The candle is its own fuel and is always ready to deploy. They are also susceptible to electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attacks and are procured at a higher premium than candles.

Most people prefer to have a collection of alternative light sources to increase our options when emergencies arise, which is why emergency candles are always in a survival kit.

Advantages of Emergency Candles

  • They are overall more affordable than other emergency lighting options
  • They produce heat as a byproduct which comes in handy on cold days
  • Candles don’t need an external source of fuel and come ready to deploy
  • They will survive EMP attacks
  • You can make a survival candle with readily available material

Making Your DIY Emergency Candle

This section covers you in case the power outage finds you still reading this article before you had a chance to stock up on candles. It is a makeshift solution that may not serve you for long but will get the job done in a pinch. We shall use a butter stick and toilet paper for the wick.

  • Start by cutting the butter in half and making a hole at the center of each half to the bottom. Now cut one toilet paper square into four separate squares. Fold the pieces diagonally and twist them to make wicks.
  • Insert the wicks into the holes you made and rub the top of the wick in butter which should fuel the initial burn so the toilet paper is not incinerated.
  • If the wick seems unstable, you can wrap it around a toothpick to prevent it from folding over before lighting up your candle.

Types of Candles

The best way to classify candles is by differentiating their two main components, the wax, and the wick. These determine how useful the candle will be in an emergency.

Candle Wax

Candles are made using different types of waxes. They all have their specialties and your priorities will dictate which candles are best for you.

Paraffin wax is most commonly used in the products currently available on the market. It is pocket-friendly and readily available although it is not ecofriendly, being an oil refinery byproduct and burns quickly. Soy wax is natural and burns slow and clean but is more expensive than paraffin wax. Same goes for beeswax. Palm wax is firm but brittle and gel candle wax is not wax at all, but a synthetically made resin. You should balance longevity and price along with your preferences.

Candle Wick

This is the string or cord that holds the flame and draws the molten fuel up to sustain the flame through capillary action. It is usually made from braided cotton. The wick’s capillarity dictates how fast the molten fuel rises to the flame which influences how fast the candle will burn out. The thickness of the wick also affects how high the candle flame will rise; the thicker the diameter, the bigger the flame. This means the best candles for lighting purposes have thick wicks.

Some candle wicks, especially in container candles are reinforced to keep them upright so they don’t sag and sink into the wax pool. The material used to enforce them vaporizes as the wick burns and is released into the air. Common reinforcements for metal core wicks include zinc and its alloys. Inhalation of too much of this may cause metal fume fever which is uncomfortable and may trigger flu-like symptoms for sensitive people. The friendliest reinforced wicks are made from specially treated paper and cotton.

Using Emergency Candles Safely

Candles are ranked among the highest contributors to residential fires in the US. The open flames in households full of potential fuels make them a hazard watch. Never use them in an emergency if you catch the slightest whiff of gas. Depending on the cause of the emergency, gas lines might have been compromised which instantly renders them fire hazards. Emergency services may not be able to access your home in such circumstances.

The U.S Department of Health and Human Services advises that you always place candles on safe candle holders away from anything that might catch fire and never leave a burning candle unattended. Candle holders manage the dripping wax and stabilize the candle so it doesn’t tip over. The holder should have a wide base for extra stability.

Glass candle holders have been known to crack after being subjected to heat from the candle flame. This happens when you let the candle burn all to the end. Avoid using candles in chipped containers and never let them burn closer to the glass than half an inch. There is no telling where the flame will land if the candle falls off its holder.

Only place the candles on stable, non-flammable surfaces like on a ceramic plate or cookie sheet and avoid walking around with them and using them as flashlights to find your way around.

The hot liquid wax can cause burns if not handled properly, it can be accidentally blown onto someone’s skin while extinguishing the flame or even more likely poured on them as the candle is adjusted.

Use a candle snuffer to smother the flame instead of blowing the flame or using your bare hands. This eliminates the possibility of accidentally spreading the flame to curtains or seats or getting burnt by the wax. The snuffer is placed over the flame, cutting off its air supply.

Reduce candle dripping by positioning the candle upright in its holder, placing it away from the AC or any window draft, and trimming the wick before each burn.

Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets at all times.

RONXS 3 in 1 Candle Accessory Set

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Consider getting this multipurpose RONXS 3-in-1 candle accessory pack with durable stainless steel construction that covers all your safety concerns. The package comes with a bell snuffer to safely extinguish the candle, a wick trimmer to prevent the emission of soot while extending the candle’s burn time, and a candle wick dipper to lengthen the candle’s life further.

The Best Emergency Candles on The Current Market

It will be misleading to claim that certain candles are superior to others in an emergency because the nature of emergencies dictates what remedy is applicable. Our list however comprises of candles that are safe, long-lasting, and efficient, which are qualities we feel are highly desirable for survival. We have included different types of candles to embrace diversity.

SDS Emergency Candles

SDS Liquid Oil Candles

Due to their long burning capabilities, they are often used as a votive candle and the same quality makes them an excellent addition to your emergency kit. They burn liquid oil and can give you upwards of 115 hours of light. They are smokeless and odorless, so you are safe from adverse reactions.

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RED-E HOME Clean Burning Unscented Soy Wax Emergency Candle

Emergency Candle

This wax candle is 100% non-toxic as it uses a natural fiber wick and has no added fragrance oils or dyes, making it ideal for indoors. It is also safe as the flame is contained in a jar and shielded from drafts. The wax is also contained to prevent dripping and burns. It is produced using sustainable methods as the natural soy wax, cotton, and paper wicks are all renewable. The glass jar is also recyclable. The slow-burning soy wax provides a burning time between 80 and 120 hours.

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CandleLife Clear Mist Emergency Long Lasting Candles

115 Hour Plus Emergency Candle

This is an odorless and smokeless liquid paraffin burner that is safe for use both indoors and outdoors. It can provide upwards of 115 hours of light and comes with a plastic storage cap with which you can prevent accidental spillage when it is not in use.

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UCO 9-Hour White Candles for Emergency Preparedness

UCO 9-Hour White Candles

These candles use refined paraffin wax for a clean burn. They have been produced using a special high-temperature formula that minimizes dripping, enabling each to burn up to 9 hours continuously. They are designed to fit in UCO’s original and chandelier candle lanterns which will improve their aesthetic appeal and enhance safety and stability.

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Hyoola White Short Taper Emergency Candles

Hyoola Emergency Candles

These candlesticks are made from premium, smooth 100% paraffin wax and feature 100% cotton wicks free from lead and metal, so they burn clean. They are sold as a value pack which means they are easy on the pocket without compromising quality. This pack comes with 12 candles which is a significant addition to your emergency kit.

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UCO 12-Hour Natural Beeswax Candles

UCO 12-Hour Natural Beeswax Candles

The 100% natural beeswax subjected to UCO’s special high-temperature formula burns clean without residue and emits a sweet natural beeswax scent. It has a high melt temperature that greatly reduces dripping allowing each candle to provide between 12 and 15 hours of burn time. They are compatible with UCO’s original and chandelier candle lanterns for added stability and elegance.

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