EN 17616 and EN 17617, new specifications for fire safety and product safety labels for outdoor candles, help to ensure a reasonable degree of safety during use.

SAFEGUARDS | HardgoodsNO. 015/22

 Oil Burner

Two new European standards, EN 17616 and EN 17617, regarding fire safety and safety information for outdoor candles were published in December 2021.

Candles intended to be burned outdoors, including, but not limited to container candles, floating candles, freestanding candles and garden torches shall comply with the following requirements and provide suitable safety information for consumers to minimize the risk of fires, deaths and injuries due to unsafe candles and/or their inappropriate use.

Type of outdoor candle

Test requirement

Mandatory supplementary safety information texts

Container candles (excluding grave lights)

  • Shall not tip over when tested on a slope of 10°
  • Shall be wind resistant
  • Temperature at the surface below the container shall not exceed 350°C when tested
  • No secondary ignition shall occur for more than 10 seconds during the burning test
  • Container shall not ignite or break during the burning test
  • Container shall not burn for longer than 15 seconds on average and 30 seconds in any individual test during the flammability test
  • Container shall not be completely burned away during flammability test
  • Shall not spontaneously re-light after extinguishing
  • "For outdoor use only."
  • Never leave a burning candle unattended.
  • Keep a distance of min. x m beside and y m above to things that can catch fire.
  • Keep away from children and pets.
  • "Use a heat resistant base.” (optional if the container itself is a heat resistant base)
  • Candle gets lighter during burning, protect from strong wind by using a suitable holder.” (optional if complies with the wind resistance requirement as specified in EN 17616)

Grave lights

  • Shall not tip over when tested on a slope of 10°
  • Shall be wind resistant
  • Temperature at the surface below the container shall not exceed 350°C when tested
  • No secondary ignition shall occur for more than 10 seconds during the burning test
  • Container shall not ignite or break during the burning test
  • Shall not spontaneously re-light after extinguishing
  • “Keep a distance of min. x m beside and y m above to things that can catch fire.”
  • “Use a heat resistant base.” (optional if the container itself is a heat resistant base)
  • “Only use at cemeteries outdoors.”
  • “Candle gets lighter during burning, protect from strong wind by using a suitable holder.” (optional if complies with the wind resistance requirement as specified in EN 17616)

Freestanding candles

  • Shall not tip over when tested on a slope of 10°
  • No secondary ignition shall occur for more than 10 seconds during the burning test
  • Shall not spontaneously re-light after extinguishing
  • “For outdoor use only.”
  • “Never leave a burning candle unattended.”
  • “Keep a distance of min. x m beside and y m above to things that can catch fire.”
  • “Keep away from children and pets.”
  • “Use a heat resistant base.”

Garden torches

  • Shall be designed to be set up and remain stable
  • No secondary ignition shall occur for more than 10 seconds during the burning test
  • No burning or smoldering material shall fall off during the burning test
  • Candle placed on a stick shall also meet the requirements relevant for the respective candle type, except stability
  • “For outdoor use only.”
  • “Never leave a burning candle unattended.”
  • “Keep a distance of min. x m beside and y m above to things that can catch fire.”
  • “Keep away from children and pets.”

Floating candles

  • No secondary ignition shall occur for more than 10 seconds during the burning test
  • Shall not spontaneously re-light after extinguishing
  • “For outdoor use only.”
  • “Never leave a burning candle unattended.”
  • “Keep a distance of min. x m beside and y m above to things that can catch fire.”
  • “Keep away from children and pets.”
  • “Use in a suitable bowl filled with water.”

Note: The supplementary safety information symbols or texts shall be placed in close proximity to the general warning sign, i.e. below and/or to the right beside the general warning sign, see Figures 1 & 2.


Figure 1. General warning sign

Figure 2. Examples of layouts of a product safety label for candles 

SGS is committed to providing information about development in regulations for consumer products as complimentary services. Through a global network of laboratories, SGS provides a wide range of services including physical/mechanical testing, analytical testing and consultancy work for technical and non-technical parameters applicable to a comprehensive range of consumer products. In the end, it’s only trusted because it’s tested. Contact us for more information or visit our website.

Next Step:

These two European standards shall be given the status of a national standard, either by publication of an identical text or by endorsement, at the latest by June 2022, and conflicting national standards shall be withdrawn at the latest by June 2022.

For inquiries, please contact:

Cindy Ng
Senior Technical Services Executive
SGS Hong Kong - Hardlines
t: +852-27653575

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