By Raina Kuptz

Kevin’s Kandles Safer Emergency Candles come in a small package and they go a long way. Boasted as a “safer, cost-effective and environmentally friendly emergency candle,” they don’t look like much, but surpass expectations.

Each pack holds five floats and 100 wicks. The floats are small clear plastic discs with raised sections to trap air and float. A grooved area and lowered section allows fuel in for the wick. Each wick is about ¾” tall and is placed in a small hole in the center of the float.

You supply the glass, the oil and the water. A small jar, glass, candleholder or ceramic cup is sufficient so long as the opening is approximately two inches wide, the diameter of the float. Place water in the glass, an inch or two is sufficient, and then add the fuel. Fuel in this case is vegetable oil. A half-inch of vegetable oil will sit on top of the water when added. Place the float on top of the vegetable oil. It will float while allowing the wick access to the oil. Light the candle and let it do its thing.

Instructions state that each candle will last 10 hours, provided enough fuel is added. Tests indicate that this is true. The candle burns steadily for hours. After the wick burns down a bit, the candle does not give off any smoke, and it is virtually odorless. Drops of fragrant oils can be added as desired. If placed in a clear glass container, the candle is surprisingly bright since the flame reflects off of the oil and water.

Safer Emergency Candles boast as being safe because if tipped or tilted, they are designed to go out. Additionally, since the fuel is sitting on water, the candleholder never gets especially hot and the candle has little chance of burning through anything. Safer Emergency Candles still have an open flame, and their biggest risk is an object being placed above or too close to the candleholder opening. The candle is water and vegetable oil, so even if tipped, it is both easier to clean up than liquid wax, and safer than petroleum-based lamp oil.

Each pack has a header card in English and French, with instructions for use on the inside of the card. One pack sells for $10 and equates to 1000 candle hours. The website asserts that this equates to less than 25¢ per candle.

Safer Emergency Candles are a good addition to emergency kits and can be substituted for traditional candles, as well. The candles might be easy to overlook in such a small package, but are worth the purchase. For more info, visit their website at or contact Kevin at