Don Foster MP*

Warning: small print can cause fires.

Bath MP, Don Foster has written to the DTI Minister responsible for consumer affairs, Melanie Johnson MP, calling for the Government to make it a legal requirement for tealights to be labelled with clear warnings.

Main ImageDon Foster says: “Tealights are such a household item that it can be hard to appreciate what a serious fire hazard they are - even if you manage to decipher the 1mm high small print or manufacturers’ cryptic pictograms.

“But a flaring tealight left on a TV or bath could rapidly reach a fierce temperature of 330 degrees - and be giving off heavily toxic fumes.

“In the past two months, tealights have caused double fatalities in Cornwall and Oxford, and house fires caused by candles rose by nearly 250% between 1992 and 1998.

“At the moment there is no legal requirement to label these products with a clear, concise warning. The Government seems to think a voluntary code is adequate, but I can’t see that approach working with the less responsible importers and manufacturers.

“Regulations for tealight warnings could easily be added to the 1987 Consumer Protection Act. That would guard against the ignorance or misuse that now leads to the 300 fires a year caused by tealights.

“Next month, the DTI will be considering what to do about this problem. Tealights are such a popular product, and they have a risk assessment of ‘likely’ to ‘catastrophic’ - the same as fireworks. It’s time we had legislation to inform and protect the purchaser.”


This article published: 18/09/2023

Published by Bath Liberal Democrats, 31 James St West, Bath, BA1 2BT. Printed and hosted by JPC Infonet, 2 St Georges Works, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, BA14 8AA. Your Privacy._blank


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