Candle Safety

Candles can be relaxing and add to the ambiance of your home.  They can also be dangerous.  If you follow the safety tips on this page and understand the required pictograms on candle labels you can enjoy your wax products safely.

Field Crafting UK and Hobby Coffee Crafts accept no responsibility for any damage caused as a result of the misuse of its products.

Safety video courtesy of Lancashire Fire & Rescue Service. Candle safety extracted from The British Candle Makers Association.

General Warning Sign

It is a requirement that the General Warning Sign (see diagram below) be included in all labelling, preferably in a coloured graphic.

Labelling must be compliant with the CLP requirements outlined above, and also with the European Standards, particularly BS EN 15494:2007 “Product Safety Labels” which specifies the format and content of product warning labels for indoor candles. The standard requires that all information supplied with a candle is presented in a clear format on the product and should be easily and non-verbally comprehensive. Such warnings may be on the product or packaging itself or available as a separate leaflet if appropriate.

General warning sign

General Warning Sign

The safety information symbol or text shall be placed below or beside the general warning sign

Mandatory Safety Messages

In addition to the general warning sign, there are four mandatory safety messages which must be included on all labels. The warning message may be given as a pictogram or as text. If text is used, it must be in the language of the country where the candles are being sold. Trading Standards would advise, where space allows using both the pictorial warning and associated text, to avoid any misinterpretation or lack of understanding from the pictorial warnings alone..

Never leave a burning candle unattended

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Always put out candles when leaving a room or before going to sleep.  You should also put out a candle if the candle smokes, repeatedly flickers or the flame isn't controlled.

Burn candles out of the reach of children and pets

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Never place lit candles where they can be easily knocked over by anyone, especially children and pets.

Always leave at least 10cm between burning candles

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Follow recommended minimum distances stated on the packaging, or if not available, leave at least 10cm to be safe.  Candles placed too close together can drip or soot, and tealights can flare up.

Do not burn candles on or near anything that can catch fire.

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Place candles on a heat resistant and non-flammable surface, at least 30cm away from anything that can catch fire, including but not limited to curtains, decorations etc.

Additional Pictograms

 Further to the minimum safety information as outlined above, the standard encourages the use of optional safety information where appropriate. The optional ‘warnings’ depend on the type of candle being produced/sold, as they are not all appropriate to all types of candle. The diagram below gives a few popular examples but is not an exhaustive list, to ensure compliance you should refer to the standard and review the full list to identify the information applicable specific to your product.

Trim wick to about 1cm before lighting

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Trim the wick with scissors or a wick trimmer before lighting the candle.  If the wick is too long, a lump of carbon might form on it as it burns (known as clubbing) or the flame might ecome too high and start to soot.

Do not place candles in a draught

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Keep candles out of draughts to prevent rapid, uneven burning, sooting and excessive dripping.  Also, lightweight curtains can waft into the flame if in a draught.

Always snuff out the flame, do not blow it out

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For safety's sake, use a candle snuffer when putting out a candle.  It's especially important not to blow down at a candle in a container, such as a tealight. as this increases the risk of flaring and hot wax could spatter up in your face.

Use a suitable container as these candles liquefy when burning

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Always use a candle holder of suitable size and shape, as this kind of candle becomes liquid while burning.

Keep the wax pool clear of matches and other debris to avoid flaring

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Flammable objects in the wax pool, such as matches, insects, flammable decorations or lumps from the wick, can ignite and cause the candle to overheat and flare up.

Only use tealights in holders, oil burners & warming stoves with sufficient ventilation

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Insufficient ventilation can cause the tealight to flare up.