Product Safety

Product Safety – Independent Candle Testing

When developing a new candle brand, it is becoming increasingly important to demonstrate due diligence under the General Product Safety Directive.

We would advise that before taking the candle to market, an independent candle test is carried out to cover the three EU (CEN) candle-related test methods for use in demonstrating a candle’s safety.

There are three tests that should be undertaken, and these are as follows:

This 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 visible and legible format on the packaging or product. In cases where safety labelling on the packaging or product is not practical, it is permissible to make an instruction leaflet available at the point of sale.

The standard contains four mandatory safety messages which must be included on all labels:

  • Never leave a burning candle unattended
  • Burn candle out of reach of children and pets
  • Always leave at least xx cm between burning candles. (xx represents the minimum safety distance as recommended by the manufacturer/not applicable to floating candles)
  • Do not burn candles on or near anything that can catch fire.

Warnings contained within the standard are not an exhaustive list of messages that should be supplied with a product. We can advise on the recommended warnings for a specific candle, but following evaluation we will be able to amend any details to ensure compliance with EN 15494.

This standard specifies test methods and requirements to assess the fire safety of candles that are intended to be burnt indoors and so includes pillar, taper, container candles and tea lights. The standard is currently not specified in any legislation in Europe and covers only limited aspects of a candle’s burning performance. Aspects not covered by the EN standard include the amount of molten wax dripping from the candle and temperatures reached by any containers the candles are burnt in.

It is recommended that suppliers comply with EN 15493:2007, but should also carry out additional in house tests that address issues not covered by the standard in order to help demonstrate due diligence under the General Product Safety Directive.

The sootiness of candles has long been a concern for regular users and suppliers alike. In recent years in the United States and the United Kingdom, candle users have brought lawsuits against retailers citing allegedly poor candle quality as the cause of soot damage to their homes, with claimants seeking compensation to cover redecoration. It is important for candle suppliers and retailers to ensure the quality of their products prior to supply.

EN 15426:2007 provides a quantified assessment of the degree of sooting of a candle, which is useful for assisting candle manufacturers, suppliers and retailers in predicting the sooting behaviour of their candles.

When this test is used in conjunction with burning assessment tests, such as BS EN 15493:2007 – ‘Candles – Specification for fire safety’, it can assist with demonstrating due diligence.

In general, the costs for these three tests per fragrance will be £350 + VAT

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