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.

The requirements for fire safety of candles designed for outdoor use are described in SFS-EN 17616:2021 - Outdoor candles - Specification for fire safety, which includes more detailed safety requirements and test methods.

The test methods and requirements described in the standard may be used to assist in the safety assessment of outdoor candles not covered by the scope of the standard.

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. 

Standard 17617: 2021 Outdoor candles - Product safety labels provides detailed requirements on the labelling of outdoor candles.

Important warnings to be attached to indoor candles include for example:

  • For outdoor use only.
  • Do not use on balcony or veranda.
  • Use only on non-combustible surfaces (Not eg. plastic or wood surfaces).
  • Use only in a non-combustible container or rack to prevent the wind from transporting lightened outdoor candle toward combustible material (applies to light outdoor candles).
  • a statement of the safe distance to various structures (For example: To be placed at least 1 meter away from buildings, fences or other structures.)
  • The burning candle must not be moved or left unattended.
  • Do not burn in the rain (risk of splashing).
  • Snuff out the flame. Do not blow it out.
  • Do not leave matches inside the lantern when lighting the lantern.

The warnings provided in the standard may also be used, where applicable, for outdoor candles not covered by the scope of the standard. 

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.

Standards for candle products have been frequently prepared and updated in recent years:

  • In 2018, an updated version of the standard concerning the sooting of indoor candles SFS-EN 15426:2018:en Candles. Specification for sooting behaviour was published. 
  • In 2019, updated versions of the standards for indoor candles SFS-EN 15493:2019 Candles. Fire safety requirements and SFS-EN 15494:2019 Candles. Product Safety Labels were published.
  • In 2021, new standards for Outdoor Candles SFS-EN 17616:2021 Specification for fire safety and SFS-EN 17617:2021 Outdoor candles. Product safety labels were published.

CEN is currently preparing a standard on safety requirements, test methods and labeling requirements for candle accessories (such as candle holders, lanterns, cuffs, shades etc.). The standard under preparation applies to products designed for both indoor and outdoor use. Tukes is actively involved in the preparation of the standards for candle products.

Due to the frequent pace of preparation and updating of the standards within the product group, Tukes' guide on Safety requirements for candle products and certain products that constitute a fire hazard is not fully up-to-date. To the extent that the standards applicable to the product overlap or supplement the requirements set out in Tukes’ guide, the requirements of the current standard shall prevail. Tukes will update the guide in its entirety after the publication of the standard for candle accessories.

For more information on labeling and instructions, see the page Operating instructions and markings regarding the safe use of products.

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)