About two-thirds of American households will use candles this holiday season. But government studies show that many consumers are dangerously unaware of basic candle safety rules.

The National Candle Association (NCA) says 85 percent of candle-related fires could be eliminated by following three simple steps:

1) Always keep a burning candle within sight. Keep the candle away from anything flammable. Keep the candle away from children and pets.

2) Trim the candle wick to 1/4 inch before each use, always using a candle holder and placing it on a stable heat-resistant surface, and keeping candles away from open windows and drafts.

3) Leaving a lit candle unattended is the number one cause of candle-related fires.

For more information on candles and candle safety, go to the National Candle Association's Web site at www.candles.org.