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The scary reason you should never blow out a candle

A Texas woman is warning others not to blow out candles after receiving first and second degree burns on her face.
Blow Out Candles
Photo: Getty Images

How often do you blow out candles to extinguish the flames? Probably every time there’s a candle burning, but it's apparently not the right way to do it.

Ashley Brawley learned the hard way last weekend when flames from a Bath & Body Works vanilla-scented candle exploded in her face, earning her a trip to the hospital with serious burns.

"I would've never imagine in a million years that I would walk in and it would be in flames," the Texas woman told a Dallas NBC station.

The incident — captured on her home surveillance camera — shows a bright flickering flame on the right side of the frame, just out of view. The flame was large enough that Brawley could smell it from several feet away.

 

"I was in the restroom. I was blow drying my hair, my two-year-old was sitting on the counter watching me and I smelled something burning," she said. "I walked in the living room and that's when I saw the candle. It was in flames. I blew on it about three or four times and the last time I blew, it just went all up in my face... I immediately started screaming."

The video shows the flames flashing in her face and her horrified screams as she runs to put out the fire, adding that wax added to the pain because it stuck to her skin. Her husband, Cody Brawley, took the candle outside and doused it with a hose, causing it to explode.

How to safely blow out candles

Brawley said that she, like many others, blow her candles out. However, fire professionals recommends using a spoon, snuffer or even the candle lid to extinguish a flame because air can cause sparks that can spread, leading to a fire.

Brawley said that wasn't an option for her because of the large flames shooting from the candle.

"A lot of people say ‘use the lid that was on the candle.' As far as that goes, I could've done the lid but with six-inch flame, it was kind of hard," she told NBC-DFW. "I feel like if I would've done that I would have burned my hand. I would've dropped it. Something would've caught on fire in the house."

 

The company does print safety warnings on the labels and on its website that instruct users to trim candle wicks before lighting them and only keep them burning for three to four hours at a time.

Too little, too late for Brawley, but she hopes that her experience help keep others from experiencing the same thing.

It's hard, but it'll get better," she said of her injuries. But candles aren't part of her future. "I'll never use a candle again. Ever. I mean, it scared me."