CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- They're one of the most popular holiday gifts.

But before you light that wick, you'll want to listen to this: a Charlotte woman said a candle exploded right in front of her, sending glass and hot wax flying.

"I was just having some wine," said Morgan Singor. "Standing next to the island where it was lit and it just popped up and exploded."

Singor said she and her husband were making dinner and lit a candle that was leftover from last Christmas season.

"It was about halfway full," she said. "I figured I would just burn it out."

It's no secret that candles are a fire hazard. But candles not only carry a lifespan, meaning they can expire. They also shouldn't be left lit for more than three to four hours.

Singor said the candle was lit for no more than 45 minutes when it exploded.

“I remember seeing that it was completely liquid and then it just popped," she said. "I guess it got too hot, too quick.”

Exploding candles actually happen more often than you may think. Earlier this year, a woman's "NannyCam" caught the moments her candle started flaming. The woman said her first instinct was to blow it out, but that made it worse.

The woman ended up suffering first and second-degree burns on her face.

"If something were to disturb the wax-like moisture or water or something like that, it could splatter up and then that candle could burn much faster than it was designed," said Charlotte Fire Battalion Chief Rob Cannon. "You could have a little mini explosion.”

Cannon said if you're going to light a candle, flip it over first and follow the manufacturer's instructions.

“If your candle has a glass globe or something like that and its started to be suited up, it's time to get a new candle," Cannon said.

Singor said she's grateful her candle didn't start a fire.

“It popped up and cut me, and I got burnt on my arms a little bit," she said. "It was not super bad, I was more mad about the countertop being ruined.”

Manufacturers say it's important to keep the wick trimmed to a quarter of an inch. When burning the candle, never burn it all the way down to the glass.