Utah Department of Public Safety

State Fire Marshal - Toy-Like & Novelty Lighters


The dangers of lighters and matches in the hands of children with the associated fire play have historically been the focus for Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Training and Education. With the recent development, availability and torrent of novelty and toy like lighters flooding onto the national market, the risk of children playing with fire has become pandemic. These counterfeit toy fire producing products in the hands of young children has been devastating to families whose children have become disfigured or lost to death due to fire play.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission adopted a safety standard in 1994, requiring disposable cigarette lighters be manufactured to child resistant standards. This safety standard has been highly effective in reducing child fatalities nationwide. Although the standard also defined novelty lighters, it did not prohibit the sale, placement and distribution of lighters that look like toys. These fire producing implements have in many cases, ignored safety standards and weakening them to the point that safety features required by the standard have in many cases become nonexistent. Child safety lockout features have been removed for convenience. Many single-action lighters today look like animals, miniature cars, musical instruments and teddy bears. Other lighters have music, visual effects, flashing lights and look like wheels, rockets, cell phones, miniature tools, hammers, paintbrushes and felt-tip markers. These lighter types have been treacherous in the hands of juveniles or adults unable to distinguish the difference between a toy and a lighter. 

With the protection of children and adults as a focal point, the Utah State Legislature has placed into statute, a modification to the Utah Fire Prevention and Safety Act in the Public Safety Code. This adoption more clearly defines novelty vs. toy like lighters, the marketing methods and restrictions for such devices and the removal of counterfeit toy fire producing implements from store shelves. This intervention will help to protect our children from LIGHTERS that encourage their curiosity, invite unintentional misuse and places a child and their families at risk for the devastation of burn injury, death and property loss.

[Last Update - Wednesday, 18-Sep-2013 14:56:36 MDT]