Industry Resources

Candle Safety Tips

To avoid fires or accidents caused by burning candles it is imperative for consumers to take the following precautions:

  • Only burn candles when they can be kept under constant adult supervision.
  • Never burn a candle on or near anything that can catch fire.
  • Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Keep candle wicks trimmed to within ¼ inch of the top of the candle.
  • Keep burning candles away from drafts, vents and currents.
  • Use a candleholder that is appropriate to the size of the candle and always place it on a stable, heat-resistant surface.
  • Keep the wax pool free of matches, wick trimmings and debris at all times.
  • Do not allow the flame to come too close to the holder or container.  For a margin of safety, discontinue burning a candle when 2” of wax remains (1/2”if in a container).
  • Extinguish any candle if it smokes, flickers repeatedly, or the flame becomes too high.
  • Extinguish all candles before leaving the house or when going to bed.
  • Use a flashlight during power outages.

Regulations and Standards in the Global Industry

ASTM INTERNATIONAL, formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), has published five candle standards, three of them specifically addressing fire safety.  A sixth standard establishing fire-safety specifications for candle accessories is under development.  All ASTM standards are copyrighted by ASTM International.  Copies of the actual standards can be purchased from www.astm.org.  The cost is approximately US$30 each.

ASTM F-1972
STANDARD GUIDE FOR TERMINOLOGY RELATING TO CANDLES AND ASSOCIATED ACCESSORY ITEMS

Defines candle terminology including terms such as candle, candle accessory, wax candle, wick, etc.

ASTM F- 2058
STANDARD SPECIFICATIONS FOR CAUTIONARY LABELING FOR CANDLES BURNED IN A HOME

Sets forth the minimum wording, typestyle and design requirements for the warning label that is to be placed on candles.  The standard addresses the three most common causes of accidental candle fires:

  • Keep burning candle within sight
  • Keep out of reach of children and pets
  • Never on or near anything that can catch fire

ASTM F-2179
STANDARD SPECIFICATION FOR ANNEALED SODA-LIME SILICATED GLASS CONTAINERS THAT ARE PRODUCED FOR USE AS CANDLE CONTAINERS

Developed to address concerns over candle fires caused by broken or shattered glass containers, this standard establishes scratch test and temper specifications for the proper annealing of glass containers used for candles, as well as thermal shock differential requirements.

ASTM F-2417
FIRE-SAFETY DESIGN STANDARD

Sets fire prevention measures for the manufacture and design of candles and candle ensembles.  Requirements of the standards are:

  • Maximum flame height on all candles shall not exceed 3 inches (3.75” for church candles)
  • A candle placed on an incline of 10 degrees shall not tip over
  • A candle shall not support ignition at points other than the intended wick or wicks
  • When a free-standing, tea light, tea light ensemble, votive or filled candle reaches the end of its useful life:
    • the candle must not exhibit excessive flame height
    • the candle must not exhibit secondary ignition
    • the flame must go out
    • if a filled candle, the container shall not break