Decorative and other oil lamps

The concern

Oil lamps are containers that sustain a flame by having a wick soaking in enclosed fuel oil. The fuel that is typically used in oil lamps is liquid paraffin. These lamps may be placed on shelves or tables, which could be accessible to a child. These lamps can serve as an alternative to traditional wax candles.

Image description

The image shows 3 different styles of oil lamps. The first is a decorative glass style. The second style is a glass replacement for tea lights. The third style is a metal insert for decorative containers.

These products pose flammability and toxicity hazards. They should be used with great care, particularly when children are in a household.

Safety requirements

Oil lamps that are available for sale to consumers in Canada are subject to the Consumer Chemicals and Containers Regulations, 2001 under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act. The hazards posed by these products result in the requirement for special labelling on the reservoir of the lamp to indicate the dangers the lamp poses. Depending on the fuel used, the oil lamp may also be required to have a child-resistant closure because the fuel can pose a toxicity hazard.

If the container of fuel used to fill the reservoir is required to be child-resistant, then the lamp must be as well.

How best to choose products

Health Canada has found that some oil lamps sold in Canada do not meet safety requirements set out in the regulations. The regulations require that all regulated chemical products be labelled and packaged to clearly indicate what dangers the products pose. The regulations also require that this information be put on any empty container that is sold for the purpose of being filled with a hazardous chemical product (for example, the reservoir of an oil lamp).

Look for the following features in these products:

  1. See if the bottle of fuel used to fill the reservoir has a child-resistant closure on it. If so, the oil lamp reservoir should have a child-resistant closure as well.
  2. See if the oil lamp reservoir has a label. It should be similar to the label on the bottle of fuel used to fill the oil lamp.
Image description

Instructions showing that if the poison symbol appears on the refill bottle, the poison symbol should also appear on the oil lamp itself.

What you can do

For more information

For further information, including information about product compliance, contact your nearest Health Canada Product Safety office by phone at 1-866-662-0666 (toll-free) or e-mail at (please indicate the province or territory from which you are corresponding).

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