1. Choose holders carefully. Never substitute a different size or type of candle for the one for which the holder or setting was designed.. Be sure that the candle is standing straight on a flat, level surface; Protect the surface by placing the candle in a flame-proof candle holder or on a coaster. Votive candles must always be burned in a close fitting container with sides as tall as the candle Even the best candle can drip and the dye from coloured candles can leach out onto furniture or tablecloths. "Bobeches" should be used with any taper holder that does not have a built in saucer to catch drips. Avoid burning candles within ½ inch of the bottom. Do not handle containers when they are hot.
2. Before lighting or relighting a candle, trim the wick to about 1/4 to 1/2 inch in length. If a candle will not light, the wick is probably too short or frayed. Carefully tip the candle side-ways over a sheet of wax paper and hold a match to the wick until enough wax has dripped away onto the paper to allow the wick to ignite. Avoid drafts. Even a slight draft can cause a candle to burn unevenly or drip. Conversely, inadequate oxygen will cause candles to smoke. A regrettable side effect of increased candle popularity is that many people try to burn too many candles at once. Modern homes are not designed to accommodate many candles burning - smoke film on walls or windows can result. Large candles in particular should be watched and turned from time to time as the cavity around the wick enlarges with burning. The turning overcomes the effects of air movements and ensures that the cavity spreads evenly towards all sides. It may be necessary to trim away some excess shell as the candle burns down. Large candles also burn best if burned for relatively long periods (1 to 4 hours at a time); They may smoke initially because the flame has not yet melted enough wax to fuel itself adequately - in this case patience is required.
3. Keep burning candles away from flammable materials (such as drapes) and out of the reach of young children and pets. Remove wrappers from the candle before lighting. Pay particular attention when burning candles in decorative settings - do not let the flame get close to decorative materials and protect any flammable materials from dripping wax. Never leave a burning candle unattended. Keep it in sight at all times. Try to avoid handling a burning candle. Immediately extinguish any candle that is exhibiting any signs of improper burning. Use a snuffer to extinguish the candle instead of blowing it out. This will help to prevent dripping.