'Happy birthday to you' musical candles - Public warning

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7 June 2017
Public warnings

The Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria has issued a Public Warning Notice to consumers under section 228 of the Australian Consumer Law & Fair Trading Act 2012, regarding a specific design of “Happy birthday to you” novelty musical candles.

These musical candles generally appear as a flower that opens up once the main wick is lit. The flame then spreads to each petal as the flower opens, while the “Happy birthday to you” tune plays.

The Director is concerned that these musical candles may pose a serious fire risk, as these products are highly flammable, and a serious health and safety risk to the consumers around them.

These musical candles are subject to a permanent product safety ban in Australia as they are classified as combustible candle holders. The criteria for classifying a candle as unsafe is if any part of the candle (other than the wick) catches on fire and remains on fire for more than five seconds without self-extinguishing.

These musical candles continue to burn past the wick, causing the plastic to catch fire and melt. The battery compartment may also catch alight and combust. The candle continues to remain on fire for approximately five to six minutes and can pose a fire risk if they come into contact with any other materials.

The candles were discovered during a pro-active, compliance inspection by Consumer Affairs Victoria inspectors in a specialty discount retail store in Hallam called ‘Clearance Centre’, owned by Wen Bros Trading Pty Ltd. These candles were also found at Wens Bros Trading Pty Ltd’s warehouse in Clayton.

There are similar musical candles for sale that are safe to use and comply with Australian product safety standards, as they have a barrier, such as a metal ring, under the wick to stop the flame from progressing onto the plastic holder. The Director advises consumers to exercise extreme caution when using these, or other novelty candles.

Safety tips

  • Before buying novelty candles, ask the supplier whether the product is safe and has been tested.
  • If you have bought one of these candles, do not use it further and secure it immediately.
  • Avoid fires by keeping novelty candles away from other decorations or flammable objects and never leave a burning candle unattended. Store matches away from children.
  • You can report any dangerous products through our Report an unsafe product page.

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