Marianne asks:
A perennial question – if essential oils are diffused in a room and someone lights a candle or a cigarette, is this a fire risk? If not, why not? At a famous Oncology hospital in the U.K. essential oil diffusers are not used for this reason – in case a spark from any electrical equipment (including pulling out a plug from the wall) gets in touch with any diffused oil! But you could say the same, if essential oils are used for massage, creams and compresses, the scent is in the air which means that volatile molecules are in the air.

Have a great day.


Vaporized essential oil in the air is not a fire risk. If it was, I imagine a lot of houses would have burned at this point. Maybe if you somehow managed to vaporize a few kilos of essential oil in a small room, and then lit a flame…? It would be hard to breathe though – you might suffocate before you got your flame going.

Where there have been problems is with burner/vaporizers that use a naked flame candle – these have been known to “spontaneously” catch fire, and they are a fire hazard. When a naked flame comes into direct contact with concentrated essential oils and a very hot burner, sometimes with oily residues, this can be a risk. Much better to use ones that operate without a naked flame.

As for a spark from electrical equipment, this has never been known to ignite essential oil, and I can’t imagine a scenario where it would be a problem. How far do those sparks shoot? 2 inches? But, with UK health & safety, every theoretical risk is assumed to be potentially fatal these days!


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