Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Those Wonderful Electric Candles

After a friend's B&B was damaged badly by a fire started by an unattended candle in a guests room, I decided to remove candles from all non public rooms for the safely of everyone at my inn. I went to other innkeepers and inquired about the best kind of electric candles and where to buy them.

I got lots of advice. I decided against the re-chargeables since I could buy and recharge my own batteries for the candles. I also decided against the totally plastic candles because I love the look and feel of wax. Another thing I was warned about was that the candles that had the real looking wicks were a bad idea because people try and light them. (The fake wick is really a black wire that at a glance or in dim light looks just like a burnt wick.

I searched and searched on the internet and found lots of expensive battery operated candles. I was not satisfied so I went off to Costco and found several fine choices for a fraction of the costs I saw online. I decided on a $29.99 variety pack of 16 or so electric candles in different sizes, made of vanilla scented wax that have a large plastic flame that I was sure no one would ever try and light. To be sure I took all the matches and lighters out of the rooms and drawers that had been in here for the real candles that used to be there.

That was last September and the electric candles work beautifully with no complaints from the guests at all. They even flicker like a real candle and from across the room you can't tell the difference. But low and behold, this weekend someone not only tried to light one of these candles, but the smell of burnt plastic did not disuade them from actually setting the thing ablaze long enough to melt down one side of the candle wall. They must have felt a bit silly after it was all said and done, as we fount the candle at the bottom of the trash can in one of the bedrooms, hidden. (If it was me I would have just stuck it in my suitcase and spared myself the embarrassment.)

Everyone - innkeepers and guests alike - beware of the new electric candles. They look and smell real, but no wick means don't try and light them with matches. And don't buy the really expensive ones. I'm glad I didn't.

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