Monday, 12 January 2009

Tea Lights: A Warning

Just now I had occasion to open a box of tea light holders. Tea lights (for those not familiar with the term) are those stumpy, thin-wicked apologies for candles - about half an inch high and an inch in diameter - that cast a faint but agreeably warm supplementary light when dotted about a room. If you had a cocktail stick and a peanut handy, and a few hours to while away, you might eventually contrive to roast the one on the end of the other in a tea light's feeble, flickering flame. So, I opened the box, and I found, tucked in beside the tea light holders, a densely printed pamphlet in six European languages. It was headed 'Safety Advice' and began thus:
'DANGER OF LOSS OF LIFE AND ACCIDENT TO INFANTS AND CHILDREN! Never leave children unsupervised with the packaging material or the product. The packaging material presents a suffocation hazard and there is a risk of loss of life from burns. Children often understimate danger. Always keep the product out of reach of children.'
And so it went on, through 'CAUTION! DANGER OF INJURY!', 'CAUTION!DANGER OF INJURY AND BURNS!', 'CAUTION! DANGER OF FIRE!' and 'WARNING - HOT SURFACES! DANGER OF BURNS!' to 'CAUTION! DANGER OF FIRE FROM FLYING SPARKS!'
And to think that for much of my early childhood, my mother left me alone in a bedroom with (I shudder to recall it) a nightlight - a candle of similar dimnensions to, and every bit as hazardous as, the notorious tea light. Truly it is a wonder I survived...
Be careful out there.

6 comments:

  1. You've been ripped off! Mine come in plain plastic bags from, I think, Robert Dyas.

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  2. It's computer mice that need a health warning, I swear one bit me the other day so I binned it and bought a wirelessy one, it turns out that it can irradiate a person and render them sterile. Won't even discuss cotton wool. The wee candle thing in an aluminium cup, go with caution Nige personally I think that they should be fitted with reversing beepers. Oh what joy today, over on Mandy's blog, what a charming, disarmingly honest, intelligent and witty alien he is.

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  3. Reminds of this product, available at Play. (I only found it while looking for heated slippers at Christmas). The phrase 'may be too hot for sensitive skin' makes me chuckle every time.

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  4. Heated sliippers eh David? Well I'll believe you...
    As for Mandy, his blog is beyond... beyond... well, beyond anything... It's... oh I give up

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  5. And Mark I hope you're aware of the suffocation danger of plastic bags...

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  6. I found shoved in the back of a drawer a pack of lurid green tea lights which Gordon's, the gin people, had sent me. As an experiment I lit one. The smell was peculiar - I imagine it was meant to resemble gin and tonic in some way. I really don't understand the scented candle thing. They are no better than those vile plug-in air fresheners.

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