Warning issued over novelty lighters

By on 03/10/2011 in News

Birmingham City Council has issued a warning to consumers and businesses about the risk to children posed by potentially unsafe counterfeit and novelty cigarette lighters on sale in the city.

The warning comes after trading standards officers revealed concern at the number of novelty lighters, counterfeit clippers and non-child resistant products they have seized from shops recently.

A child resistant lighter is one that cannot be operated by a child younger than 51 months of age.

From March 2007 manufacturers and importers have been prohibited from placing non child resistant and novelty lighters onto the European market. Since 2008 the ban has extended to sales by retailers.

This rule covers all personal lighters, but does not extend to utility lighters over 100mm long intended for lighting candles, barbecues and gas applicances.

Novelty lighters include any lighter that is appealing to children under the age of 51 months or has entertaining audio effects or animated effects. This includes lighters in the shape of cartoon characters, toys, guns, watches, telephones, musical instruments, vehicles, human body parts, animals, food or beverages, or that play musical notes, or have flashing lights or moving objects or other entertaining features.

Counterfeit clipper lighters are generally sold for the same price as the genuine article but the differences are:

  • Counterfeits have an unsafe, loose gas lever with no safety spring underneath.
  • Counterfeits have an adjustable flame valve genuine clippers have a fixed flame valve.
  • Counterfeits are not refillable, genuine clippers are.

Officers are asking consumers to be vigilant as novelty lighters especially are appealing to children can be highly dangerous. If you find any of these whilst out shopping please call us on 0121 303 6031.

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