Candle safety

This advice is designed to provide basic guidance to traders. It is not a complete or authoritative statement of the law. Please note that some of the advice we provide to businesses is chargeable.

Producers and distributors have for many years been obliged by product safety legislation to provide information and warnings as to the risk their products posed where these risks were not obvious and where necessary, to provide instructions adequate to consumer needs as to the safe operation/use of the product.

The General Product regulations 2005 maintain that requirement. The following standards are currently not called up in specific legislation but may assist with demonstrating due diligence under the General Product Safety Regulations 2005.

Fire damage caused by candles can be attributed to improper use by the consumer. The risk of fire can be minimised by suitable warnings to the consumer. In September 2007 the labelling requirements of candles changed due to the publication of European Standard BS EN 15494:2007 - Candles - Product Safety Labels.

This standard 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.

It is a requirement that the General Warning Sign below be included in all labelling, preferably in a coloured graphic

General warning

The four mandatory safety messages shown belowmust also 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.

  • Never leave a burning candle unattended
  • Never leave a burning candle unattended

  • Always leave at least 10cm between burning candles
  • Always leave at least 10cm between burning candles

  • Burn candle out of reach of children and pets
  • Burn candle out of reach of children and pets

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

In addition to the minimum safety information as outlined above, the standard encourages the use of optional safety information where appropriate which you can also find on the candle safety for consumers page.

If you are providing candles with decorations or supplying them in containers you may need to risk assess and test the product.

Further information

RAPEX - European Product Safety Alerts

The British Candlemakers Federation

Candlemakers advice sheet – The British Candlemakers Federation