Along with the candle in a Bath&Body Works bag came a 5” x 10” piece of cardboard with “Important Candle Safety Information.” This sheet outlined such items as a WARNING that candles were a fire hazard and that you should NEVER burn candles on or near anything that can catch fire. I wonder what lawsuit compelled the company to spend its money on something that is so patently obvious to virtually everyone.

Where do we draw the line and leave people to discern evident behaviors for themselves? Milk doesn’t come with a WARNING: Refrigerate or your milk will curdle. Doors don’t say CAUTION: If you leave this equipment unlocked you could be burglarized. Computers aren’t plastered with stickers reading DO NOT IMMERSE IN WATER. Glasses aren’t imprinted with CAUTION: this will shatter if dropped.

Resist the urge to over-explain instructions and to excessively compensate with warnings. Save your money and the trees. No placard or caution sticker is going to change the behavior of those who are oblivious to the apparent and commonsense use of an everyday item.

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