The flickering lights from candle flames have long been a staple in places of worship. Unfortunately, there have been numerous reports of churches and other religious structures suffering fire damage from unattended, open flame candles. The U.S. Fire Administration reports an average of 1,300 church fires occur each year, causing some $38 million in property loss. Sadly, many churches are older and are not outfitted with proper safety features. Some 65 percent of these fires happened in buildings with no smoke alarms while 96 percent of the locations did not have sprinkler systems. In May of 2013, an unattended candle inside the St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Tucson, Ariz. started it on fire overnight. The blaze caused more than $1 million in damage to the 65-year-old church.
Churches often allow people to light candles at all hours, often leaving them unattended. While it may be assumed safe to have a candle burning in a glass votive holder, should anything come near the flame—a curtain, a piece of clothing, flammable décor or paper—a fire can start almost instantly. While candles are not to blame for all church fires—the U.S. Fire Administration says major causes also include arson and faulty electrical wiring—some places of worship are introducing the realistic look of flameless candles in lieu of open flames for their own peace of mind. The Amazing Flameless Candles are made from 100 percent natural paraffin wax and the advanced LED light technology can flicker just like a real candle. They come in taper, pillar, votive and tealight sizes. They also come with the option of different scents, such as vanilla, cinnamon and breeze.
Flameless candles are also great for special religious ceremonies, such as weddings. Many a bride has dreamed of walking down an aisle lit on either side by candles, only to encounter a dangerous—and flammable—path not safe for an expensive wedding dress to traverse. Try using flameless votive candles in beautiful hurricane glasses. Should one tip over, no flame, no wax and no worries.