Burning a candle without a wick

By Danny Ciamprone

DeKALB | They look good and smell even better, but there is a reason why candles are not allowed in dorm rooms.

None of the dorms on NIU’s campus allow candle burning and several apartment complexes prohibit them as well. This is because candles were once one of the main causes of fire outbreaks as reported by local fire departments.

“We were having a notable increase in fires due to candles, but recently that hasn’t been a big issue,” said DeKalb Fire Chief Bruce Harrison.

Because of this, students are looking for safer alternatives as opposed to the traditional candle burning with a wick.

The Sycamore Boutique and Scent Shop, 321 W. State St., offers alternatives to traditional candles. Co-owner John Nielsen said he has seen a lot of people use alternatives because of safety concerns.

“We have melters, which is where you put wax into basically a six pack of cubes,” Nielsen said. “You then break off a cube and put it into a melter, which is like a fragrance outlet and the fragrance fills the room. You can virtually use one anywhere.”

Patty Kirk, sales representative at Moxie, 230 E. Lincoln Highway, and Megan Morrison Home and Garden, 237 E. Lincoln Highway, said one of the best alternatives are diffusers.

“Diffusers are like clear bubble bath bottles that have scented oil in them,” Kirk said. “Bamboo goes in the top of the bottle and you periodically flip the sticks so the scent gets soaked up. They are clean, no smoke and depending on how often you flip them they can last anywhere from two to three months.”

Despite residence halls and several off campus properties prohibiting candle burning in rooms, College Housing Group does not have a problem with them.

“Our residents are allowed to burn candles as long as they use them safely,” said Ryan Barton, manager for College Housing Group. “I don’t know what other properties do, but our residents are adults and can use them if they want to.”