Can Incense Cause Fire? (Explained)

Burning incense can create a calm and relaxing environment and is known to reduce stress and anxiety. There are many more benefits to burning incense especially in the spiritual communities, however, if you are not careful, it can turn into a major hazard. Luckily, there are a few tips for beginners on how to prevent fires when burning an incense stick.

It is possible for a fire to break out if you are not following the simple guidelines needed when burning incense. For example, always be sure to position your incense stick away from flammable materials, never burn inside of enclosed areas, never leave unattended, and never allow the ashes to fall on a surface that is not fireproof. Listed below are all the steps every beginner should follow in order to safely burn an incense stick.

Can Incense Cause Fire

How to Safely Burn an Incense Stick

  • Place the thinner part of the incense stick on an incense burner and light the tip.
  • A small flame will ignite. Allow the flame to burn for about 3 seconds before blowing it out. 
  • Observe the incense stick to make sure that the tip is faintly glowing and that you can smell the scent to ensure that you have burned it properly.
  • Relax and enjoy the fragrance burning.

Do’s And Don’ts

Now, we can’t forget to include the do’s and don’ts when burning incense especially when it comes to preventing fire hazards. See them listed below as well as in depth explanations.


  1. Position the incense stick on the burner to make sure the ashes are not falling outside of the burner.
  2. Make sure the incense burner is placed on a heat proof surface.
  3. The area should be well ventilated.
  4. Keep away from flammable liquids and materials.

The key to preventing a fire is making sure that the ashes are not falling on anything other than the incense burner or a heat resistant surface such as cement or brick. These surfaces are sturdy enough to help the incense stick withstand its position without falling over.

You also want to make sure that the burner is durable so that you do not have to worry about it overheating and breaking or falling over. The best kinds of incense burners are those that are made of metal, concrete, or ceramic and are large in size and heavy in weight.

If the burner is too flimsy, it could easily flip over, causing the incense to start a fire. The fallen ashes are still very hot even after some time from falling and can ignite if on a flammable material and liquids such as drapes, carpet or alcohol. Always make sure your burner is properly insulated because if it is not, it can cause surface damage.

Keep the area well ventilated to keep the air circulating properly. However, if you have asthma or any other issues with breathing, it is highly suggested to avoid burning incense so as to not disturb those health concerns.


  1. Do not burn in an enclosed space such as a closet, as this can cause a fire.
  2. Always make sure the incense stick is completely put out before discarding it. The ash can burn for up to a few hours even after being put out and can ignite if thrown in the trash too soon.
  3. Keep out of reach of children and pets, so as to not cause serious burns or injuries.
  4. Never leave it unattended. If you have to leave the room or are going to bed, extinguish it.

Burning incense in an enclosed space can cause a fire hazard, especially in a closet with flammable clothing. Be sure to extinguish completely before discarding as to not ignite a fire while the hot ashes are enclosed in the trash.

A simple trick to use when extinguishing would be to stick the tip of the incense stick in water or sand before throwing it away.

You can also press the tip down into an ashtray to put it out.  Always keep small children and pets away from the burning incense flame.It is so important to never leave incense unattending while burning.

While burning incense can be both soothing and relaxing, it is so important to follow simple yet crucial guidelines in order to prevent fires from igniting. Being fully aware when you have an incense stick lit can help prevent your home and belongings from being set on fire and can even save lives.

Always be knowledgeable about the regulations and fire safety codes where you live when burning incense. Places like college dorms or apartment buildings may prohibit the use of incense because it is such a high risk for fire hazards. It is important to routinely check your smoke detector to ensure that it is properly working.

If you think burning incense poses too much of a risk, there are other alternatives to assist with achieving a calming aroma. While these alternatives may not contribute to religious beliefs, they can help prevent a fire from igniting. You can try essential oil diffusers, fresh cut flowers, or even herbs.

These are natural alternatives that provide a relaxing aromatic environment. In this day in age, non combustible / non burning incense have become available on the market and pose as risk free alternatives.  


Similar to burning candles, incense provides amazing fragrances but can have a great risk of igniting a fire. We have elaborated on the many different tips, tricks, and methods, as well as alternatives for burning incense.

Our simple step by step guide is easy enough for any beginner who is just starting to burn incense for the first time.  Following these steps will help prevent fire hazards and keep you and your belongings safe.  


My name is Jeff 'The Grundeis' and I am a 45-year-old man with a passion for sports and travel. I have two children and a furry family consisting of a cat and a dog. I share my life through this blog. Thanks for following.

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