The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) staff is participating in voluntary standard activities related to candles and candle accessories. CPSC staff has worked with the ASTM International Subcommittee F15.45 for Candles and Candle Products to develop requirements to address fires associated with candles. The subcommittee formed task groups on Terminology, Labeling, Data Evaluation, Glass Containers, Smoking, Wicks, and Fire Safety to focus on specific issues and develop voluntary standards. Completed standards include:
- ASTM F-1972-99, Standard Guide for Terminology Relating to Candles and Associated Accessory Items
- ASTM F-2058-00, Standard Specification for Cautionary Labeling for Candles Burned in a Home
- ASTM F-2179-02, Standard Specification for Annealed Soda-Lime-Silicate Glass Containers that are Produced for Use as Candle Containers
- ASTM F-2326-04, Standard Test Method for Collection and Analysis of Visible Emissions from Candles as They Burn
- ASTM F-2179-04, Standard Specification for Fire Safety for Candles
Based on national fire loss estimates, the four-year average (1999-2002) of total potentially addressable fire department attended candle fires was an estimated 12,500 fires resulting in 110 deaths, 1,100 injuries, and $248.6 million in property loss annually. Although residential fires have been decreasing in recent years, residential fires involving candles and candle products have been increasing. The increase in incidents involving candle products is likely due to an expanding market and an increase in frequency of consumer candle use. Candles are used for a number of reasons including decoration, aesthetics, ornamentation, ambiance, aromatherapy, relaxation, meditation, religious/spiritual, and as fragrance disseminators.
CPSC staff is continuing to work with the ASTM subcommittee to develop additional fire performance requirements for candles and candle accessories, including candle holders.