Fire Prevention & Protection, Firefighter Training, Firefighting

CPSC Asks Fire Departments to Report Candle and Mattress/Bedding Fires

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is requesting assistance from fire departments in reporting candle fires and mattress and bedding fires. The CPSC will accept reports from now until September 30, 2003. The reports may result in follow-ups by CPSC field investigators. Participating fire departments will be reimbursed $50 for each in scope report received.

The purpose of the effort is to learn more about the characteristics of fires involving candles, and mattresses and bedding and the circumstances under which these types of fires occur.

CPSC is interested in fire department reports of fires resulting from lighted candles, candle holders or containers that malfunctioned and did not perform as intended. The types of cases we are seeking include evidence of flare-ups, exploding candles, containers igniting or rupturing, tip-overs, candles re-igniting after being extinguished, or some other kind of malfunction. CPSC is not interested in cases where the residential fire destroyed the candle, unless a consumer is aware that the candle, holder, or container malfunctioned and caused the fire.

For any fires caused by a candle, holder, or container meeting the criteria above, the CPSC would like to receive photos of the candle and surrounding area. If possible, the involved product should also be retained to accompany the final investigation report, if possible. If a like type product is also available at the scene CPSC would like the fire department to collect that item as a sample as well, especially if the product is in the original packaging. Payment to the fire departments is not limited to cases where an incident is reported but photos or samples are not supplied, however, photos and samples are desirable.

CPSC is also interested in all fires igniting mattresses or bedding. It is not necessary to collect a sample of the mattress or bedding involved. However, photographs of the mattresses and bedding items (i.e. pillows, comforters, quilts mattress pads blankets and accessories) involved are highly desirable.

Fire Department Involvement
For both projects, CPSC anticipates that fire department involvement will consist of reporting the incident to CPSC, supplying any fire department reports of the incident, including photographs of the products involved whenever possible and retaining the candles, holders or containers involved for possible CPSC follow-up investigation.

Main Program Contact
The main program contact for CPSC’s field operations on these programs is Robin Ross. Any fire department interested in participating in this reporting and sample collection effort can e-mail her at [email protected].