Requirements for outdoor candles

With regard to the safety of outdoor candles, essential factors include stability, use of a suitable container, use of a suitable wick and candle wax, as well as appropriate instructions for use, and warning labels.

Outdoor candles include all burning candle products designed for outdoor use, for example:

  • lumberjack's log candles
  • outdoor candle lanterns
  • outdoor lantern candles
  • outdoor candles and garden flares
  • candles for the cemetery and garden, and oil candles.

Manufacturers, commissioners, importers, distributors and sellers of outdoor candles are responsible for their safety.

Because outdoor candles are general consumer goods, they are not CE marked, and no permission from an authority is required to sell them.

Safety requirements

Outdoor candles must meet the requirements of the Consumer Safety Act: they must not pose a danger to the health or property of consumers.

An outdoor candle must not flare up (form a fire where the entire molten wax surface burns). In the end phase of burning, when there is only very little candle wax left, the candle may flare up briefly. The outer shell of outdoor candles must not maintain combustion. Candles cast into containers, such as candles in ceramic pots, must not allow candle wax to seep through the container.

Markings and user instructions

Outdoor candles must be accompanied by instructions and warnings necessary for safe use in Finnish and Swedish. The instructions can include illustrative pictograms to improve clarity, and instead of text, information can be provided with commonly known instruction or warning symbols. Important warnings to be attached to outdoor candles include:

  • Only for outdoor use. Not to be burned on a balcony or veranda.
  • Only to be burned on non-combustible surfaces, and not, for example, on plastic or wood surfaces.
  • Only to be burned on non-combustible containers or stands, or in the snow or sand, so that the wind will not transport the lighter outdoor candle to any flammable material. This applies to outdoor candles which become lighter when burned.
  • Notification of a safe distance to various structures, for example: Must be placed at a distance of a minimum of 1 metre from buildings, fences or other structures.
  • A burning candle must not be moved or left unattended. This does not apply to cemetery candles.
  • Do not burn when it is raining, so that the wax will not splatter.
  • Must be extinguished by suffocating the flame.
  • If the outdoor candle has a lid, the markings must include a reminder that safe use of the product requires that the lid must be kept in place. Watch out for the hot metal lid, if the candle has such a lid.
  • Do not leave matches inside the lantern when lighting the candle.

Markings for candle products intended for outdoor use must be made in accordance with the requirements set forth in section 2 of the Tukes guideline: Safety requirements for candle products and certain products that constitute a fire hazard. In addition to other markings, it is recommended to use the general warning markings as determined in standard SFS-EN 15494 Candles. Product safety labels, section 2.2.

The markings must be either on the outdoor candle or on its sales package, or they must be provided with the outdoor candle on a separate label.

See also

Safety requirements for candle products and certain products that constitute a fire hazard

Operating instructions and markings regarding the safe use of products

Research and development project on the safety of candle products:

The final report for the research and development project on the safety of candle products conducted by VTT for the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (in Finnish)