Help on accessing alternative formats, such as Portable Document Format (PDF), Microsoft Word and PowerPoint (PPT) files, can be obtained in the alternate format help section.
Garden torch candles are wax candles, usually long and narrow, with a support stake made of bamboo or wood to insert them into the ground or a bucket of sand. They are used to provide outdoor light and decoration.
The picture on the right is one example of the many types of garden torch candles that are available on the market.
Burn tests conducted by fire service personnel and by Health Canada on several types of garden torch candles showed them to be a fire risk to consumers because the candle flame may set fire to the support stake that is embedded in the wax. Sometimes, burning pieces of the support stake break off and set fire to nearby objects. The support stake may also crack, causing the candle to tip over and set fire to the surrounding area. In one case, the flaming wick fell to the ground and continued burning even after the wax had been used up. Hot, dripping and splattering wax and very high flames have also been reported with these types of candles.
All candles present a risk of fire and should always be used with care, keeping fire safety in mind. Garden torch candles with a bamboo or wood stake present an added fire risk because the stake can also catch on fire.
Candle fires can cause serious burn injuries and death, as well as significant property damage.
Health Canada recommends that the following fire safety precautions be taken when burning garden torch candles:
For further information or to report a candle-related fire, injury or complaint, please contact Health Canada's Consumer Product Safety program at 1-866-662-0666 or CPS-SPC@hc-sc.gc.ca, or visit the Consumer Product Safety (CPS) section of Health Canada's Web site at www.healthcanada.gc.ca/cps.
Prevent Fires always use candles with care