The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has denied a 2004 petition filed by the National Association of State Fire Marshals seeking mandatory safety standards for candles and has directed staff to continue monitoring and contributing to the efforts of ASTM, a voluntary standard-setting organization, as it works on “a performance standard for paint and other non-wax coatings on candles.”

CPSC staff recommended the denial after apparently finding that manufacturers have been complying with the current voluntary ASTM standards—ASTM F2417-11, Standard Specification for Fire Safety for Candles, and ASTM F2601-13, Fire Safety for Candle Accessories—which adequately reduce the fire-hazard risks purportedly posed by candles and their accessories. In this regard staff stated, “[T]he reduction in candle-related deaths and incidents cannot be attributed to any single factor but is likely the result of a combination of factors, including reduced consumption and substantial compliance with the voluntary standards.”

A trade organization representing the interests of some 90 percent of U.S. candle makers reportedly said that the National Candle Association “appreciates CPSC’s careful consideration of the petition, and we support the position that broad adherence to the voluntary ASTM standards as well as ongoing consumer education efforts have contributed to significant reductions in fires, injuries and deaths. We welcome CPSC’s continued participation in ongoing ASTM committee work.” Consumer interest organizations and the fire marshals group supported the industry’s commitment to voluntary standards compliance and to keeping the standards current. See Bloomberg BNA Product Safety & Liability Reporter™, August 19, 2014; CPSC Record of Commission Action, August 20, 2014.