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Monday August 22, 2016

ASTM Addresses Candle Standard Readability

An ASTM F15.45 task group August 12 discussed proposed revisions to ASTM F2417-16, Standard Specification for Fire Safety for Candles. The work is part of a broader effort to improve the clarity and readability of fire safety standards.


The group's original aim was to go through each section of the standard and rewrite it with better structure and language. However, members of the task group have discovered several inconsistencies and more substantive issues. Some of those discussed at the meeting included:

  • Container Integrity: While some sections specified performance failure if “breaking and cracking of containers” is observed, parallel references referred to “container integrity,” which may imply something different in the case of a plastic container. This needs to be resolved.

  • Religious Candles: Multiple references in the standard use the term religious candle when referring to those with very long burn times, sometimes 24 hours or longer. This is due to a link between long burns and religious marketing. However because such products are not explicitly defined as such, the group proposed replacing these references with extended use candles and creating a definition.

  • Harmonization: Multiple members had been approached by a European fire safety task group concerning quantitative measurements included in U.S. fire safety standards. Specifically, members had been asked about temperature data, which are generally not included in U.S. fire safety standards. Should Europe begin using temperature data in performance testing, the group noted that this could lead to a divergence of U.S and European requirements. However, members agreed it would be best to finish cleaning up the existing standards before concerning themselves with CEN and harmonization issues.

The group has been working since February to update and revise the standard and expects to present a final draft at the end of September. After that, it will address the same concerns in ASTM F1972-16, Standard Guide for Terminology Relating to Candles and Associated Accessory Items.