Torch Safety Tips
Torches, such as Tiki Torches are widely used all year round. They are available at most retail stores and have become very popular for summer, fall, and winter activities. They are used in back yards, beaches, and to decorate or add atmosphere to events like family BBQ's, weddings, holidays, and community events. Remember to treat tiki torches with the same respect you would treat a candle, matches, lighters, or any open flame. Think of a tiki torch as a large candle. Like all open flames there is an element of risk associated with them. Never leave tiki torches unattended.
Always read and follow the safety labels and manufactures instructions. Do not remove these tags from the tiki torches.
Children are naturally fascinated by flames. Invest the time to talk to your kids about the risks and dangers to ensure they have a healthy respect for your tiki torches. Kids should know that tiki torches are like lighters, matches, and candles, they are tools for adults and they should never play with them.
Established a safety zone of 3 feet around the tiki torches for your kids, just like you would a fireplace, campfire, wood stove, or while cooking in the kitchen.
Don’t forget about your pets. If you have a pet that has not been around tiki torches or an open flame use caution. Set the tiki touches out unlit before the event so your pet can get use to them and so you can see how your pet will react to them. If Fido thinks a tiki torch is a big stick to play with you do not want to find that out when he is running around the yard with a lit torch in his mouth spreading flames from fuel spilling out of the torch and freaking out your guests. Cats can get to almost anywhere and their fur, especially their tales can catch fire very quickly. Always watch your pets around any open flames.
Have a fire extinguisher readily available when using tiki torches. Keep the fire extinguisher in close proximity to the area you are using the tiki torches. Mount the fire extinguisher to keep it secured and to prevent it from being tipped over or picked up and moved. Make sure your fire extinguisher is charged and operational.
Use caution and try to avoid using water to put out a tiki torch on fire. Water can spread tiki torch oil without extinguishing the flame and compound an already bad situation.
DISTANCE FROM COMBUSTIBLES
Ensure there are no tree limbs or other overhangs near your torches. Trim back any low branches if relocating the tiki torch isn't an option and keep the wick short. If you can't hold your hand over the flame at the height of the branch or overhanging object then you have a fire risk.
Consider other objects near the flame. Wind gusts will bend the flame from the tiki torches and could ignite flammable objects. The wind can also move objects and nearby branches into the flame. The best option here is to ensure your tiki torches are placed with ample room to the sides and above.
Consider the height of the torches, some come with fairly short posts, placing the flame at a lower height and can catch clothing, decorations, and other items on fire that would not be ignited using a taller tiki torch. Taller tiki torches may be the same height as some of your guest and can light hair, hats, caps, coats, and scarves on fire. Regardless of the height of your tiki torches you should take care when placing them, put them in area away from places your guests will walk, stand or gather.
Keep the area around the tike torch clear of combustibles. An area wider then the tiki torches are tall should be cleared. Remember if the tiki torch fuel spills the vapor from the fuel will spread the flames rapidly.
Keep tiki torches a safe distance from each other.
Have a fire plan in the event of a fire caused by a spilled tiki torch. One person can assure the safety of guests and get a fire extinguisher while another person calls 9-1-1.
Freestanding tiki torches, not unlike a standing house lamp, can be toppled. Set the tiki torches away from areas of activity so they will not be knock over or where distracted people can get to close to them.
The tiki torches should be secured and adequately placed in the ground to so the winds cannot tip them over. They should not be knocked over easily. If you are using tiki torch stands make sure there are weighed down or secured to the ground. Make note of the wind direction and wind speed.
TIKI TORCH FUEL
Keep the tiki torch fuel supply safely stored. The jug of tiki torch oil should be stored in a cool, dry, well ventilated location and a distance away from the open flame on the torches.
The fuel used in the tiki torches is highly flammable. Clean up spills promptly.
In case fuel spills over the rim of the reservoir can, allowing ample time for fuel evaporate before lighting the tiki torch.
Read the warning labels carefully so you know what to do in the event that you come in contact with the oil.
Never move a lit tiki torch. Always extinguish the tike torch and give it time to cool before moving it.
Only use fuel made for tiki torches. Remove the reservoir and fill it separately from the torch. The reservoir in most traditional torches is a removable can. Minimize the risk of the accident by pulling out the can and filling it on a stable surface, away from the tiki torch, capping it, then reinserting it into the torch.
Do not overfill your tiki torch reservoir. There's no need to top it off to the brim. Once the submerged end of your wick is in the oil, it will wick what's needed to the external end. A completely full reservoir won't lead to a larger flame or decrease the frequency of filling the reservoir, it does increase the likelihood of spills and sloshing should the torch get bumped.
If the tiki torches do not have removable reservoirs be attentive during filling and allow sloshed or spilled fuel to evaporate completely before lighting the torch.
Keep in mind tiki torch fuel will kill grass and garden plants.
Extinguish the tiki torches when you go in for the evening. It is most likely o.k. to go into to the house to grab something quick or check on the kids, but do not leave a tiki torch unattended for an extended length of time.
Most tiki torches come with an extinguishment cap attached. Do not remove them and use them to extinguish the torch vs. blowing it out.
Let the tiki torches cool down before moving them.