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Posts Tagged ‘safety’

I’ve heard it said that there is nothing common about common sense, and I fear this notion to carry with it a certain element of truth. After all, there’s a reason two-liter bottles of soda bear a caution on their labels about pointing the cap away from the face when opening in order to avoid losing an eye. And “hot” coffee, when ordered, is obviously “hot,” but sometimes a small reminder like, “CAUTION: COFFEE IS HOT!” is a comforting sight printed on steaming cardboard and styro-foam coffee cups. In the end, the lack of “common sense” humans sometimes practice can cost a lot of companies a lot of money. For those of us farther down the food chain without a corporate reputation to protect, ignorance just costs us inconvenience, loss, and even pain.

Regardless, we could make light of scenarios like those above (what some of us refer to as “Jedi Mind Tricks”) all day. For example, consider how entertaining this lapse in common sense is…A young man, completely distracted, decides to drive a Ford F-250 pickup truck (a multi-ton projectile as solid as a tank) at speeds in excess of the city speed limits all while using his cell phone! Hilarious, right? Probably not. Most definitely not. Why? Because when your sister-in-law is sitting in her car, stopped in traffic, and that truck strikes her, throttles her seventeen feet down the street and into the rear end of a car carrying an elderly couple, and everything she feels and thinks from that moment on is as painful and twisted as her damaged spine, her fragile psyche, we shudder at the thought that the boy’s sense in that moment was frightfully common. That’s right, common. The number of drivers—civilian, official, and law enforcement alike—who have or will text or talk on a cell phone while behind the wheel of a moving vehicle, is staggering. Seriously.

If the accident that crushed my sister-in-law had happened on a highway, no one would have survived. No one. I guess on that day, we were all lucky. Instead of finding herself laying down inside her car, eyeglasses somehow on the hood of the truck that had hit her, foot locked down on the brake, dazed, frozen, confused…Instead of still picking glass out of her hair hours later, or easing her into an ambulance to get her to the hospital…But there’s no need to imagine a scenario that’s becoming all too familiar in this country. Somewhere, on some city street or interstate thoroughfare, people are dead and people will die because of cell phones and automobiles. And we will pretend that there was and is nothing we could or can do. We will continue to wonder how these things could happen, and thus only validate the maxim that there is absolutely nothing common about common sense.

The bright side, at least for us? My sister-in-law will smile again (she’s already started to). Someday, though she doesn’t quite believe it now, she’ll walk a little farther than a handful of steps, and she’ll get her balance back. She won’t always have to sleep sitting up in a recliner. Someday, she’ll be able to dance again…she’ll drive again without panicking. She’ll be able to at least ride as a passenger in a car without losing her voice to the paralysis of fear. Someday, the countless injections of steroids and painkillers, the trauma and discomfort of the multiple surgeries to fuse vertebrae and screw bones together, will only be a memory, less painful, less horrible. She can’t turn her head just yet to look over her shoulder to catch a glimpse of that danger she doesn’t realize isn’t really there. But someday…yes, someday.

So, drive…go for a ride. Go to the store, to the movies, to school…to the prom. But turn off the phones. No call, no text is ever as important as your life, our culture, my sister-in-law. Let’s make sense common and think about the consequences of our actions before acting. Let’s try to live by the very lessons that we demand our children learn. Why not? It just makes sense…right?

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We often get questions at Country Wickhouse Candles about how properly to burn soy candles.  If a single, common issue exists, it’s with the challenge of getting an even burn with the soft wax.  This should never be a challenge, however, since any candle must be enjoyed under certain conditions.  Below you will find some helpful hints on how to burn soy candles more evenly, thus making your experience with them more enjoyable.

Soy Just Ain’t Paraffin:  I know, horrible grammar!  But you get the point.  One of the most important things to remember when dealing with soy candles is that they DO NOT burn the same way paraffin candles do.  Some (if not all) paraffin candles contain PETROLEUM, and I don’t know about you, but if I were made of petroleum, I’d burn hot and completely, too.  Unfortunately, so many people own petroleum-based candles that they have become the standard by which all candles are judged and used.  When considering the environmental impact of paraffin candle products (not to mention the smoke and soot their wicks produce), EVERYONE should be burning SOY candles instead.  With all this in mind, let’s talk about properly burning soy.

Wick Length:  NEVER follow the 1/8-inch wick rule with soy candles.  Instead, keep your wicks at 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch long for an even burn.  Most wicks in soy candles already come in these lengths.

An example of an even burn in a soy candle tin.

Tins (and Other Containers):  Again, mind your wick length and keep it at 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch long.  ALWAYS place any container on a LEVEL surface, and NEVER burn longer than 1.5 hours at a time.  And of course, never leave a candle unattended.  Another great idea for more evenly-burning candles is the use of a CANDLE TOPPER, which will more evenly distribute wick heat.

A votive holder.

Votives:  Follow the wick rule above and ALWAYS burn votives in VOTIVE HOLDERS.  These holders act like small containers, and as the container heats, it helps in the proper melting of the soy wax.

The metal wick tab at the bottom of a tealight cup.

Tealights:  This is a common concern among folks who’d like to see every ounce of soy wax melt and disappear.  The bad news is, this will never happen.  Use the same wick lengths as above, and as soon as the tealight extinguishes itself, the show’s over.  The metal wick tab at the bottom of the tealight container will never burn (unless you use a blowtorch), so for safety reasons, throw the tealight away when it burns down to this point and puts itself out.  It may be hard, but it’s time to say goodbye and move on when you can see the wick tab.

Unburned (Unused) Soy Wax:  But wait!  Just because ALL the soy wax in your container hasn’t melted doesn’t mean that it’s been wasted.  Remember that soy wax is all-natural and biodegradable.  It is also one of the best NATURAL SKIN MOISTURIZERS on the planet.  Claw it out of your containers and rub it into dry skin.  It even replenishes cuticles.  And it smells good, too!  Go ahead, it won’t hurt you…it will only help!

Hopefully these tips will aid you in burning soy candles more successfully.  The most important thing to remember is that soy is VERY SOFT, and hence we must take some unique (albeit subtle) approaches to using them.  Follow the tips above and you’ll have no problems with any soy candle product you ever own…and if you do, let us know.  We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Burn on, wise soy candle-burning person!  You care about yourself and your environment…Thank you!

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