Jun 27, 2022
National Candle Association releases safety message

The National Candle Association (NCA) has become aware of a growing number of candles on the market that contain flammable materials including dried flowers, leaves, herbs and wood embedded in the wax near the flame (this concern does not include non-flammable items like metal and stone). Unlike the long-standing style of candle that has elements embedded around the outside in wax that safely remains solid throughout the life of the candle thus shielding the embedded elements from the flame and heat, these candles do not.

Photo courtesy of the National Candle Association

This new style of embellished candle allows decorative elements to become part of the liquid wax pool when the candle is burned. This exposes these flammable materials to both the candle’s heat and flame throughout the candle’s use while also coating them in wax, allowing the materials to sustain flame themselves.

NCA purchased several candles and had them tested according to the ASTM Candle Fire Safety Procedures at an independent third-party safety testing laboratory. The results were dramatic with safety failures in every case, and the candles exhibiting multiple and large flames. The heat and large flame exhibited has the potential to ignite a home fire.

“Any one of these test candle’s exposed flames could have easily ignited surrounding materials, such as drapery, décor or furniture, if burned in a residential setting” Kathy LaVanier, board vice president and media spokesperson for NCA, stated. Based on the testing results, NCA urges consumers not to light these products. If you own one and wish to enjoy it aesthetically, NCA suggests you cut the wick off at wax level so it cannot be lit.

According to NCA, many of these botanical add-in candles are sold by individual online marketplace crafters and artisans. Typically, most online marketplaces do not make warranties about the quality or safety of any products sold on their sites.

U.S. candle manufacturers stand by the quality and safety of the products they produce and sell by adhering to ASTM candle standards and practices. NCA collaborates with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the ASTM International Standards organization to develop industry standards to reduce the number of accidental candle fires. Also, an industry-wide standard, that became effective in 2000, calls for the labeling of all candles with fire-safety precautions. Additional industry standards to enhance the fire-safety design of candles, glass containers, candle holders and candle accessories have also been established.

“Being able to clearly demonstrate these candles can be a fire hazard is of utmost importance to our industry, ensuring the safety of candle consumers,” Brad Root, president for NCA, said. “This is of deep concern to NCA, and we take fire safety as our primary goal.”

Visit https://candles.org/research-studies/ to review NCA studies for ‎accurate information about the health and safety of candles. ‎ The full study on burning candles with botanical add-ins can be found here: https://candles.org/ncas-report-on-botanical-candles/.

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