WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — Holiday candles can add a beautiful touch to any home decoration.
However, a small candle can turn into a big problem.

According to statistics, candles are responsible for more than half of home decoration fires in the month of December.

They cause millions of dollars in property damage each year.

The number of candle fires peak on Christmas Day and New Years Eve.

Deric Jamison, Assistant Fire Chief of the Wheeling Fire Department, says these fires are preventable in a number of ways.

He says there are a number of safety tips you can follow to keep your home safe over the holidays.

If you are using a candle on a Menorah for Hanukkah, you want to make sure it has a good steady base, that you keep it well away from anything that will burn. If you leave the room, blow the candle out.

Deric Jamison, Assistant Fire Chief, Wheeling Fire Department

The most common type of fire, however, starts right in the kitchen.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the second leading cause of property damage.

These types of fires tend to increase around Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Fire officials say they are preventable by following some simple rules.
They say to never leave food cooking on a burner unattended, and keep any flammable material away from the cooking area.