SHELTON, Conn. — Many consumers are unaware of common safety practices for lighters and don’t take the appropriate precautions when using them, according to disposable-lighter manufacturer BIC’s 2019 Lighter Safety Report. Seventy-seven percent of consumers said price would influence their decision to purchase a pocket lighter, while only 65% said the same for safety.
The study aims to draw attention to a concerning influx of low-quality, unsafe lighter imports into the United States. Shelton, Conn.-based BIC surveyed more than 2,000 U.S. consumers ages 18 and older from March 14 to March 18, 2019, for the report.
“The BIC Lighter Safety Report is intended to educate consumers on the potential dangers of low-quality lighters and ensure they are taking the necessary steps to protect themselves and their families when purchasing, using and storing lighters,” said Mary Fox, general manager of BIC North America. “Safety is a cornerstone of BIC’s business and is the number one priority for BIC Lighters. BIC is committed to manufacturing and delivering the safest and highest-quality products alongside educating the communities it proudly serves.”
Here are three insights from BIC’s 2019 Lighter Safety Report …
One issue regarding lighters is that consumers aren’t aware of their potential dangers. Eighty-one percent of consumers said they don’t know that many pocket lighters are not tested for safety, according to the report. Moreover, 77% of consumers said they didn’t know that lighters sold in the United States are not required to meet any safety restrictions other than being child-resistant.
No lighters can be 100% childproof, the report said. While a child-resistant feature does make the lighter more difficult to operate, young children still may have the ability to use it. This is something that parents are not aware of, though. More than 1 in 3 parents (37%) mistakenly believe that if a lighter has a child-resistant feature, then children cannot turn it on, according to the report. And while 68% of parents say their children have been taught about fire safety, less than half (48%) say their children have been taught about pocket lighter safety.
While lighter safety rests on both manufacturers' and consumers’ shoulders, the latter are less educated than the former. Here are BIC’s recommended lighter safety tips for consumers so they can keep themselves and their children safe while using the product:
- Know that all lighters are not created equally. Lighter imports may not meet the American Society of Testing Material Safety Standards, which could result in a lighter malfunctioning.
- Purchase only lighters that meet key safety standards, [and] choose a brand you trust.
- Teach young children to tell a grown-up immediately if they find a lighter or matches, and not to touch them.
- Store lighters out of sight and reach of young children, preferably in a secure location.
- Explain that lighters are dangerous adult tools, and ensure children know that lighters are not toys. Never use novelty lighters that look like toys or playful objects around children.
- Never use a lighter if it has been compromised in any way, such as after exposure to excessive heat or prolonged sunlight, or in violation of its warnings and instructions.