If you’re building a new home, remodeling your existing home, or you recently built a new deck, you may be staining the new woodwork yourself. While it saves money, it can be a bit scary and dangerous.
Stain is permanent! It will stain your clothes, fingers, and anything else it meets. So if you’re trying a DIY staining project, wear protective eyewear, rubber gloves, and old clothing. Oil-based stains also have fumes, so it’s important to work in a properly-ventilated area.
The staining project turns dangerous if you don’t properly store or dispose of the used rags.
Oil-based stains are very common with woodworking projects. Linseed based stains can be found on every hardware store’s shelf. They’re used for staining furniture, floors, decks, and woodwork in your home. However, if they’re not stored or disposed of properly, they can auto-ignite and start a fire in your home. Unfortunately, people have lost their homes and possessions because of this dangerous situation.
So how can a pile of rags sitting on your garage floor start a fire? As oily rags begin to dry, heat is produced. If they’re thrown into a pile, oxygen is trapped underneath. The combination of heat, oxygen and the cloth can lead to spontaneous combustion, which results in a fire that could destroy your home.
Here are some tips for storing and disposing of oily rags.
1.Never store rags in a pile. Used rags should be spread out in a safe flat area to dry. If you lay them out on your garage floor or driveway, weight them down so the wind doesn’t blow them away. Once they’re dry, check with your city or municipality for disposal instructions.
2.Store the rags in an airtight, non-combustible metal container. If you plan to use your rags later, this step is critical. The metal container should be filled with a solution of water and an oil breakdown detergent.
3.Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Since manufacturers use different oils in their products, it’s important to follow their warnings and disposal instructions. They may differ from manufacturer to manufacturer.
If you’re building a new home, remodeling your existing home, or you recently built a new deck, you may be staining the new woodwork yourself. While it saves money, it can be a bit scary and dangerous.
When people think of homeowners’ insurance claims, they often associate them with major disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes or wildfires. In these situations, there’s not much that policyholders can do to avoid disaster. Fortunately, many homeowner losses are entirely preventable. In 2014, 5.3 percent of insured homes had a claim, according to the Insurance Information Institute and ISO data. Property damage, including theft, accounted for 97.3 percent of those claims.
Insurance agents should remind clients that homeowners’ insurance may not pay if a claim could have been avoided with proper maintenance. It pays to take care of your home
Here are 15 examples of preventable home insurance claims, followed by tips for reducing the liklihood a claim will need to be filed:
1. Washing machine mishaps
Hub International recommends that you avoid loose or damaged washing machine hoses by replacing them at least every three years, and inspect frequently for irregularities. If possible, situate your machine in an area where you will detect water problems right away.
2. Bath tub/shower grout and edge leaks
Over time, shower and tub grout or caulking can decay, or cracks can develop which allow water into the wall or floors and starts to rot the wood. Check and maintain seals.
Water that flows into your bath or shower needs to stay there, or travel down the drain. Close doors and curtains. Wipe up spills on surrounding areas quickly.
Frequently inspect and repair seals, calling in a professional when in doubt. Some contractors recommend resealing every year.
3. Toilet issues
Toilet wobbling? It might not be properly installed or the toilet seal may be worn out. Check for water around the base of the toilet.
Experiencing a leak? Call a qualified expert immediately. Consistent attention is key to sparing yourself and your family thousands of dollars in damages.
4. Refrigerator water supply leaks
The water and plastic lines that extend from your fridge can cause extensive kitchen damage in no time. If you’re comfortable or handy, check the lines regularly for kinks. If uncertain, contact an experienced professional.
5. Roof leaks and collapses
Basic roof maintenance, such as gutter cleaning and shingle replacement, is key to a longer roof life. Check overhanging tree branches and trim them away from the roof to avoid rubbing in wind. Check for loose or missing shingles.
During the winter storm season, it’s important to monitor weather conditions and roof conditions to help protect against roof collapse from snow and ice accumulation.
Be aware of any warning signs that the building structure may be under significant stress and perhaps in danger of collapse. Signs may include:
•Deflection or cracking of structural members.
•Cracks that have recently developed in interior and exterior walls and ceilings.
•Cracked or broken windows.
•Sprinkler heads that are pushed down below dropped ceiling tiles.
•Unusual creaking or popping sounds.
•Doors or windows that bind or do not open and close properly due to racked frames.
If there are signs of deflection or damage to the building’s structure, a qualified structural engineer should be contacted for an immediate inspection.
6. Chimney and fireplace fires
Cold weather regularly brings fires caused by dirty or plugged chimneys. Implement all fire safety best practices and maintain a regular chimney-cleaning schedule.
Installation of a spark arrestor on chimneys will protect cedar shake roofs. Ashes should be disposed of in a metal container, never paper or plastic.
7. Hot water heater leaks
Leaking water heaters result in countless insurance claims each year. If a small leak goes unnoticed — occurring while you are on vacation, for example — the damage can quickly escalate into a major claim.
Regularly inspect the water heater and the pipes around the unit for any signs of leakage, moisture, mold, mineral buildup and corrosion.
It’s a good idea to flush the water heater tank twice a year to eliminate sediment buildup. Putting in an inexpensive drip pan below the water heater that drains to the outside of the property can help prevent thousands of dollars in water damage in many cases.
Age is also a big factor. Many water heater manufacturers estimate the lifespan of these appliances to be 8 to 12 years, so replacing a unit when it is nearing this age can be good insurance policy against unwanted damage.
If your water heater is more than five years old, a qualified technician should inspect it at least every year.
8. Electrical fires
Here are some specific tips from SafeElectricity.org to avoid electrical fires in your home:
•Check for loose-fitting plugs in electrical outlets, which can be a fire hazard. Replace missing or broken wall plates so wiring and components are not exposed.
•Avoid overloading outlets with adapters and too many appliance plugs.
•Make sure cords are not frayed or cracked, placed under carpets or rugs, or placed in high traffic areas. Don’t nail or staple cords to walls, floors or other objects.
•Use extension cords on a temporary basis only. They are not intended as permanent household wiring.
•If an appliance repeatedly blows a fuse, trips a circuit breaker or has given you an electrical shock, immediately unplug it and have it repaired or replaced.
•Wiring defects are a major cause of residential blazes. Check periodically for loose wall receptacles, loose wires, or loose lighting fixtures. Listen for popping or sizzling sounds behind walls. Immediately shut off, then professionally replace light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that spark and flicker.
9. Cooking or candle fires
Second only to water damage, fire devastation is a common source of homeowners’ insurance claims. An open flame, or gas, is often necessary for preparing food, warming and illuminating the home.
Cooking equipment is the leading cause of home fire injuries, followed by heating equipment, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
During 2009-2013, candles caused 3 percent of home fires, 3 percent of home fire deaths, 6 percent of home fire injuries, and 5 percent of direct property damage from home fires, the association reports.
All fires should be monitored. Unwatched, a fire can spread rapidly and become a tragedy.
10. Garage door opener theft
If your vehicle is not in the closed garage, don’t leave the door opener behind in your vehicle. A garage door opener left in a car that is sitting in the driveway or on the street, gives a thief easy access to the house
11. Furnace issues
Make sure your furnace is in good working condition. Have it inspected regularly, and leave repairs to professionals. When appliances in the home wear out, homeowners’ insurance does not pay.
Homeowners’ insurance pays when pipes freeze, for example. If this happens to a furnace, the homeowner has a valid claim. Electrical surges, a covered peril, damage wiring which could require the replacement of a furnace unit. Another covered peril is the sudden cracking or breakup of hot water pipes, which could lead to a new furnace.
12. Theft and vandalism
Theft and vandalism are less common types of homeowners’ insurance claims, but they can be difficult types of losses to recover from. Even after a home is restored, the fear caused by a break-in can linger.
If you live in a high crime area, here are steps you can take to minimize your chance of becoming a victim:
•Install a security system or outdoor video cameras.
•Get a dog to help protect your property.
•Increase the amount of lights around your property to deter thieves.
•Always be sure to lock your doors when leaving.
13. Dishwasher leaks
Every three months, check all hoses for signs of wear and tear. A cracking or leaking hose can lead to serious water damage to flooring and walls around the appliance, so replace hoses accordingly.
Clean your dishwasher by running it with two cups of vinegar in the bottom. Stop the dishwasher mid-cycle and let it sit for 20 minutes; then restart and let it finish the cycle. This will prevent buildup and clogs which can cause leakage.
14. Dog-related injuries and bites
Millions of people are bitten by dogs each year, which results in a lot of costly homeowners’ insurance claims. Man’s best friend can be a big liability if he bites someone on your property. If you have a dog, consider increasing your personal liability coverage.
Even normally docile dogs may bite when they’re frightened or when defending their puppies, owners or food. The best way to protect yourself from liability is to prevent your dog from biting anyone in the first place.
15. Slip and fall accidents
If someone slips and falls while on your property, you may be liable. Keep steps and walkways in good repair and free from snow, ice and objects that can cause trips, such as debris, toys and tools.
See the Insurance Information Institute’s “Which disasters are covered by homeowners’ insurance” for a handy outline of perils covered under standard homeowners’ policies.
Have you ever jumped into your car, turned the key, and nothing happened? If so, did thoughts like this start racing through your head?
I wonder what’s wrong?
What am I going to do now?
Who can I call?
I hope this isn’t going to be expensive. A dead battery can occur any time, while dead car batteries aren’t just a winter phenomenon, as the temperatures plummet, they can become dangerous at this time of year.
A car battery can last an average of five to seven years if the vehicle is driven regularly. A car that’s kept in storage and not driven for an extended period may need a new battery sooner.
Before a car battery goes completely dead and leaves you stranded, it does give some warning signs. These include:
1. Slow engine crank. A worn-out battery will turn over your car at a slower rate. If your car doesn’t sound right or it takes longer to start, this could be a telltale sign.
2. Warning lights. If battery power is weak, a warning light may appear on your dashboard. In newer cars, this may show as a battery symbol. If this light goes on while you’re driving, don’t turn off your car! If your car doesn’t have a warning light but it’s hard to get it started, keep the car running until you get to your final destination.
3. Crusty connections. Today’s batteries are mostly maintenance free; however, corrosion around the battery posts may indicate a leaking battery. If you notice a lot of corrosion, clean off the posts. Corroded posts can lead to difficulty starting your car.
4. The car is misbehaving. Features in your car may be acting up. For example, your power windows may not open and close efficiently. In addition, your radio may not work correctly.
5. Oil change. When you get your oil changed, some garages will run a complementary battery test. If the mechanic tells you your battery is underperforming and it’s five to seven years old, you may want to have a new one installed.
If you’re left stranded and need a jump-start, here are the appropriate steps to get you back on the road.
1. Take a deep breath. I’ve been in this position before. Once help arrives, there’s a lot of commotion. Always think before you act. If you’re on the side of the road, pay attention to your surroundings. Before exiting your car, make sure it’s safe. If you’re in a parking lot, pay attention to swinging doors and other cars around you.
2. Position the vehicles appropriately. Once help arrives, position the vehicle with the dead battery and the running vehicle so they’re facing each other. If you’re in a parking lot, this may be difficult so get them as close together as possible. Automatic transmission cars should be placed in park and manual transmission cars should be put in neutral. For extra safety, be sure to use the parking brakes in both cars.
3. Turn off the running car. Once the cars are positioned appropriately, turn off the radio, headlights, interior lights, etc. Once this has been done, turn the car off.
4. Identify the battery terminals. The positive has a red indicator or a plus (+) sign. The negative terminal has a black indicator or a negative (-) sign.
5. Identify the jumper cables. The red clamp is positive and the black clamp is negative. A stripe on the cable may also indicate the positive cable.
6. Attach the jumper cables. It’s important to attach the jumper cables in this order.
Attach the positive cable (red) to the positive terminal on the dead battery.
Attach the positive cable (red) to the positive terminal on the functioning battery.
Attach the negative cable (black) to the negative terminal on the functioning battery. Please note the cables are now live! Be careful in handling the remaining negative cable.
Attach the negative cable (black) to a non-painted piece of metal or a bolt on the car with the dead battery. Make sure the cable is clear from moving parts.
7. Ladies and gentleman start your engines. Start the car with the functioning battery and allow it to run for one to two minutes. Next, try starting the car with the dead battery. The engine of the good car can be idled at 3,000 rpms to help transfer the energy through the jumper cables.
8. Disconnect the jumper cables. Now that the car with dead battery is running, it’s time to disconnect the jumper cables.
Start by disconnecting the black or negative cable on the previously dead battery.
Disconnect the black or negative cable on the functioning battery.
Disconnect the red or positive cable on the functioning battery.
Disconnect the red or positive cable on the previously dead battery.
If the car with the dead battery didn’t start, try:
Re-connecting the cables following the steps in #6.
Allow the functioning car to run five to ten minutes with the jumper cables attached to the dead car.
Consider calling a tow truck.
Between giving gifts, preparing large meals, and planning family gatherings, the holidays can be a stressful time of year. Adding another thing to think about may seem overwhelming, but home safety is an important consideration. A devastating burglary, expensive electrical fire, or messy burst pipe is the last thing anyone wants to deal with — or pay for — during the holidays.
Be cautious this holiday season to ensure you don’t encounter any dangerous situations or lose any of your home’s value.
Here are six holiday safety tips to protect your home:
1. Avoid visible gift displays.
People have many new, high-value items wrapped up in their homes around the holidays that burglars can easily and quickly grab—causing potential damage to windows, doors, and a home’s interior and exterior in the process. Police are unlikely to track down a thief and find your gifts: about 87 percent of burglaries go unsolved because of a lack of witnesses and evidence.
Though it’s tempting to set up a picturesque holiday vignette of a Christmas tree surrounded by piles of gifts near your front window, the Los Angeles Police Department encourages people to put presents out of view from windows and doors. Better yet, keep expensive gifts hidden until you’re ready to give them
2. Pick a fresh tree and water it daily.
Christmas trees cause an average of 210 fires and $17.5 million in property damage a year. To avoid this, choose the freshest tree possible. The National Christmas Tree Association recommends running a branch through your fingers to check for signs of dryness. Do not buy a tree if its needles come off easily, its branches break, it has discolored foliage, it smells musty, or its bark is wrinkled. After bringing your tree home and putting it in a stand, check its water level frequently to make sure it doesn’t go below the base of the tree—otherwise, your tree may begin to dry out. And remember any sources of heat, like tree lights, fireplaces, heating vents or sunlight from a window, will cause a tree to dry out more quickly.
3. Choose your lights carefully.
Electrical issues are behind a third of Christmas tree fires, and the majority of those fires involve decorative lights. Consumer Reports cautions to only use lights tested in a nationally-recognized laboratory, like Underwriters Laboratory (UL). Old lights, especially if they are uncertified or damaged, generally draw more power and are a major risk.
The best lights for Christmas trees are certified miniature lights that emit low heat. But no matter what lights you use, always inspect them for loose connections, broken or cracked sockets, and frayed or bare wires. And never leave a lit Christmas tree unmonitored — turn off the tree lights when you leave the house or go to bed.
4. Prevent outdoor light displays from overheating.
Though it’s easy to plug numerous strings of lights together to wrap around the roof, this can cause a major fire hazard. Overloading a single electrical outlet with too many lights will overdraw the power and cause overheating. This can trip the circuit breaker and start an electrical fire.
Prevent this from happening by never attaching more than three strands of lights together. Consider using LED lights, because they use less energy and don’t get as hot as traditional incandescent lights. And, if you’re hanging up lights outdoors, make sure to use ones that are certified for outdoor use
5. Drain outdoor pipes and insulate indoor ones.
During cold winter nights, the water in pipes can freeze and cause them to burst, which may cost up to $6,000 to repair. To avoid an expensive cleanup, take preventative action. Outdoor pipes like sprinkler lines, hose bibs, and swimming pool supply lines are the most likely to freeze. Before cold weather hits, drain the water from your sprinkler lines and swimming pool, remove outdoor hoses, and close the inside valve to outdoor hose bibs.
Unheated interior areas, like basements, garages, kitchen cabinets, crawl spaces and attics, are also at risk. Pipes in these areas need to be insulated with pipe sleeves, heat tape or heat cables that are certified to cover exposed pipes. The American Red Cross advises that even one-quarter inch of newspaper can provide insulation.
6. Keep an eye on all food being cooked.
Cooking mishaps cause nearly 72 percent of Thanksgiving Day fires, leading to $28 million in property loss. The number of kitchen fires on Thanksgiving is more than twice the amount of fires on other days of the year, and turkey fryers alone have caused $8 million in property damage.
The American Red Cross recommends cooks should never leave food unattended and avoid wearing loose-fitting clothing and long sleeves. Also, enforce a “kid-free zone,” use a timer, install a smoke alarm, and keep cooking areas free of items that can catch fire, like oven mitts and towels.
As much as we love our pets, we do our best to protect them from danger all year long — and around the holidays there are special circumstances that put them at risk.
Many of these are obvious, but others are not — and that’s not even considering the anguish of watching a beloved pet suffer. In addition, the challenge of paying for expensive vet care to put right something that could have been avoided to begin with is no way to spend the holidays.
10. Toxic foods
Aside from the tummy upsets to be had from guests sneaking Fido too many treats under the table or Fluffy stealing off with a choice morsel from the kitchen counter, foods that can actually poison your pet are more common around the holidays.
Beware chocolate, particularly dark chocolate; unbaked bread dough; macadamia nuts; turkey; alcohol; fruit cake; raisins; sugar-free candy; and baked goods that include artificial sweeteners.
9. Hazardous decorations
Even full-grown dogs and cats can be prone to the dangers presented by Thanksgiving and Yule decorations, with puppies and kittens that much more so. Cats may be tempted to climb the Christmas tree or sample the poinsettia, holly or mistletoe, while dogs — puppies, particularly — may be curious enough to chew on anything from ornaments to plugged-in holiday lights.
Tinsel and pine needles can be deadly, too, as can water drunk from the tree stand. Make sure pets are kept away from decorations that can prove too tempting, and provide them plenty of fresh safe drinking water located far from the tree.
8. Guest appearances
No matter how much you love your relatives, sometimes they just aren’t pet people — or, conversely, they love them too much. Beware of small (screaming) children who can traumatize pets (and who can get knocked down or bitten if they push pets too far, which will also cause problems with their parents), and people who insist on feeding pets unsuitable treats, or too many treats, or empty the fish food container into the aquarium. And then of course there’s Uncle Rick, who thinks it’s funny to slip your dog a Scotch.
Not to mention that a constant stream of foot traffic in and out of the house can upset pets used to a quiet household. They might even take flight through one of the frequently-opening doors, which could lead to disaster — they could freeze, be hit by a car or get thoroughly lost. If your pet isn’t microchipped, you should give consider having it done before the holidays are much farther advanced.
7. Guests’ possessions
Think prescription drugs and personal care products brought by overnight guests — not to mention that secret stash of snacks or potent potables in Cousin George’s luggage.
Make sure the luggage, the secret stash, the medications and the drinks are safely protected from pet predations, lest the joyful holiday become a tragedy.
6. Upsets to the routine
Sensitive pets can be prone to tummy upsets if there’s too much commotion or too many unfamiliar people and things in their environment. That can lead to vomiting, diarrhea or just general mopiness — not something you want them to suffer through.
If Fido isn’t himself, consider a vet visit to see what’s wrong; there are so many opportunities for trouble around the holidays that it’s better to be safe than sorry. Better, make sure pets are sequestered in a quiet room if they’re easily upset, and if they are crate-trained, all the better.
5. Unwelcome gifts
Pets can be curious about wrapped and unwrapped presents, and some can be deadly — like unattended boxes of chocolate left within reach.
Other hazards are toys (not pet toys) that can be chewed into small sharp pieces; batteries that can be swallowed; and irate relatives discovering a destroyed pair of sheepskin slippers or a hole in Aunt Agatha’s prize quilt. And then there’s the wrapping, and the ribbon; any of these can pose a real threat to a pet’s health, up to and including surgery to remove foreign bodies from little tummies.
4. Falling trees
If your cat is inclined to climb, make sure you anchor the Christmas tree so it can’t overbalance if Fluffy decides to view the festivities from the treetop. A falling holiday tree, whether fully decorated or just brought into the house, can present deadly danger to pets — whether to the cat who climbs it or the dog who thought the tree skirt was a nice place to nap.
3. Candles and fireplaces
Pets, and guests, can knock over burning candles or fireplace screens, and pets who are overcurious or fleeing over-excitable children could be seriously injured in their quest to escape.
Be sure that open flames of any kind are shielded from pets, so that there are no disasters to mar the celebration.
2. Automated toys
If your house is filled with youngsters trying out everything from drones to radio-controlled cars, make sure pets are shut away from the action lest the youngsters lose control of their automated entertainments and pets be the ones to suffer.
1. New cookware
As odd as it may sound, if you keep pet birds and you got new cookware for the holidays, don’t use those new pots and pans without opening all the windows and degassing them.
Some nonstick pots and pans give off gases when first used that can kill pet birds. You don’t want your canaries or budgies succumbing to the fumes of that fancy new cookware set just because you were in a hurry to use them
The National Fire Protection Association is promoting the theme, “Don’t Wait: Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years” during this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign.
The focus on smoke alarm replacement comes as the result of a recent survey conducted by NFPA, which showed that only a small percentage of people know how old their smoke alarms are or how often they need to be replaced.
Smoke alarms save lives
According to the NFPA, three of every five home fire deaths in the United States result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. Almost 40 percent of the fire deaths that occur in the U.S. are in homes with no smoke alarms.
NFPA recommends replacing smoke alarms after 10 years because that is typically the life expectancy of the devices. After 10 years, the sensors in smoke alarms can begin to lose their sensitivity.
6 Things You Need to Know
1. An average of 7 people die in U.S. home fires every day
•Cooking equipment was the leading cause of home structure fires and home fire injuries from 2010-2014 (and ties with heating as the second leading cause of home fire deaths).
•Smoking was the leading cause of civilian home fire deaths.
•Heating equipment was the second most common cause of home fires, fire deaths (tied with cooking) and fire injuries.
2. 501,500 structure fires occurred in the U.S. during 2015
Also, during 2015:
•One structure fire was reported every 63 seconds.
•There was $10.3 billion in property damage from structure fires.
•One home structure fire was reported every 86 seconds.
3. Home fires and deaths in 2015 were half as high as in 1980
4. There were 174,000 highway vehicle fires in 2015
This is an increase of 3.9 percent from the year before.
The NFPA estimates highway vehicle fires totaled $1.2 billion in property damage during 2015.
Some good news: Estimates of home fires and losses for 2015 show that substantial progress has been made since 1980, the first year in which national estimates of specific fire problems were available. Reported home fires fell from 50 percent from 734,000 in 1980 to 365,500 in 2015.
Deaths resulting from these fires fell 51 percent from 5,200 in 1980 to 2,560 in 2015.
5. Additional home smoke alarm tips
•Have working smoke alarms in each bedroom. You also need one outside each sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. Mount alarms in the basement.
•Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
•Test all smoke alarms once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarms are working.
•It’s best to use interconnected smoke alarms. When one smoke alarm sounds they all sound.
•There are two kinds of alarms. Ionization smoke alarms are quicker to warn about flaming fires. Photoelectric alarms are quicker to warn about smoldering fires. It’s best to use both types of alarms in the home.
•A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least 10 feet from the stove.
•People who are hard-of-hearing or deaf can use special alarms. These alarms have strobe lights and bed shakers.
•A smoke alarm’s age can be determined by looking on the back or side of the smoke alarm, where the date of manufacture can be found. Smoke alarms should be replaced 10 years from that date (not the date of purchase or installation).
6. Fire safety tips for homeowners and renters
•Children under the age of four are at a higher risk of home fire injury and death than older children. Teach all children what the smoke alarm sounds like.
•You may have less than three minutes to escape a home fire. Make a plan and talk with your family about what to do if there is a fire.
•If you live in an apartment or condominium you need to know how to get out quickly if a fire starts. Count the number of doors there are between your apartment and the nearest fire exit. Memorize the number in case you have to find the exit in the dark.
•If you smoke in your home, you’re at higher risk to have a fire. Use deep, sturdy ashtrays and always put cigarettes all the way out. Never smoke in bed or if drowsy.
•Any open flame is dangerous. If you use candles in your home, put them in sturdy holders and at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn. Blow out all candles if you leave the room, get sleepy or go to bed.
•Lock up any items that can start a fire (matches, lighters, cigarettes, etc.) and make sure children cannot reach candles.