Why You Should Think Twice Before Putting Real Candles Inside Your Halloween Pumpkins

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Carving Halloween pumpkins is a popular fall tradition, but adding a candle inside might not be worth the risk. Candles will dry out the inside of your pumpkin, causing it to rot more quickly. Having a real lit candle in your jack-o-lantern could also lead to household fires. If your carved pumpkin falls over on a windy night, your porch could catch fire, and inside your home, a very dried-out pumpkin could also go up in flames if you're not paying attention. Battery-powered lights and glow sticks provide a safe alternative to real candles.

Captain Drew Piemonte from the Springfield Fire Department in Massachusetts advised WWLP 22 News how to carefully display Halloween pumpkins with real candles. "Keep it in a safe area away from the house, a minimum of 10 feet," he advises. "You know if you're going to light a candle inside a pumpkin, it will dry it out eventually, and never leave it unattended," Captain Piemonte said.

Candle alternatives for carved pumpkins

If you don't want to risk starting a fire or if you want to make your carved pumpkin last longer, it's best to use a light source that doesn't require a flame. To get the same eerie, wavering glow of a traditional jack-o-lantern, try using battery-powered candles that flicker, like these flameless LED tea lights from Amazon.

For an even spookier aesthetic, you can jazz up your carved pumpkins with these Homemory coloring changing tea candles, which can also be found on Amazon. With battery-powered candles, you won't need to worry about melted wax, prematurely rotten pumpkins, or a potential fire risk. These lights also won't need to be monitored and will likely last longer than a burning candle. Glow sticks are another good alternative to light up your Halloween pumpkins, and they're an easy way to get kids involved with the fun. In a pinch, a simple flashlight will also illuminate your jack-o-lantern without any of the downsides of real candles.