In a recent sobering incident at SouthPark Commons Apartments in South Charlotte this past Sunday, the destructive power of a simple candle was brought to light.
A single unattended candle ignited, leading to a fire that caused over one million dollars in damages and displaced several families.
It took over 50 firefighters from The Charlotte Fire Department, two of whom sustained injuries, several hours to put out the fire.
Images from Charlotte Fire Department
We at Skyline express our deepest sympathy for all those affected by this catastrophe. Such an event underscores the necessity for awareness and education regarding fire safety in our homes.
The Role Real Estate Professionals Can Play
Candles, while often associated with ambiance and decor, pose a real threat if left unattended. The U.S. Fire Department's statistics are alarming, with an average of 9,300 home structure fires caused by candles annually between 2009 and 2013. The losses are not just in dollars but in lives disrupted, injuries sustained, and irreplaceable personal belongings destroyed.
As real estate agents, we are often trusted advisors when it comes to our clients' homes. The recent events serve as a critical prompt for us to educate ourselves and our clients on the importance of fire safety practices.
Candle Placement and Supervision
- Candle Placement: Ensure candles are placed on a stable surface away from combustible materials, and never leave a candle unattended. - Active Supervision: Always be in the room when a candle is lit and extinguish all candles before leaving a room or going to bed.
Safe Alternatives and Quality
- Safer Alternatives: Recommend the use of flameless LED candles, especially in households with children, pets, or busy lifestyles. - Quality Candles: Encourage the purchase of high-quality candles that come with safety features, such as self-extinguishing wicks.
Fire Preparedness and Holiday Vigilance
- Fire Response Preparedness: Stress the importance of having working smoke detectors and an evacuation plan. - Holiday Vigilance: Remind clients of the increased risk during the holiday season and to be extra cautious with candles.
Learning from Loss
The aftermath of the fire at SouthPark Commons is a poignant reminder of the significant impact we can make as real estate professionals by educating our clients. Our role often extends beyond the transaction; we have opportunities to ensure our clients are informed and prepared to make their homes safe.
As we reflect on the recent events and work to support those affected, let's commit to being a source of knowledge and guidance in fire safety. Our efforts can make a real difference in preventing such tragedies in the future.
What is your favorite safety tip to share with clients? Share in the comments below or in an upcoming CE Class!
Jones, K. (2023, November 6). Candle burned out of control sparking apartment fire in South Charlotte. Queen City News.
Ahrens, M. (2015, December). Home Candle Fires. NFPA