Consumer Safety Alert: Child-Play Fires Caused by Non-Child-Resistant Utility Lighters

February 15, 2002

© Copyright 2002.  All Rights Reserved.

For further inquiries about long-nose utility lighters, feel free to call Bill Manning at 1.800.553.9910 or to send them an e-mail by clicking on this link: contact us.

Long-nose utility lighters, such as the Scripto "Aim n Flame"™ lighter, are extremely popular with consumers for lighting grills and furnaces and generally starting any fire from a distance. But such lighters can also be extremely hazardous when children, who are attracted to their toy gun appearance, get access to them. U.S. government records report over 250 fires started by children with utility lighters in the last 15 years. These fires often result in catastrophic burns to the child starting the fire and others.

As of December 2000, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission banned the manufacture and importing of any utility lighter that is not resistant to use by children. The CPSC regulation did not ban the sale, however, of non-child-resistant lighters and such lighters can still be purchased in thousands of stores nationwide. Moreover, millions of American homes already contain non-child-resistant lighters that were purchased before the ban went into effect.

Child-resistant lighters require the user to operate two mechanisms at once or otherwise make it difficult for a small child to ignite the lighter. While non-child-resistant lighters have "on/off" switches, such a switch does not usually prevent a child from igniting a lighter and does not make the lighter child-resistant. If you have small children in your household, you should immediately dispose of all non-child-resistant lighters to eliminate the chance of a child-play fire occurring. If you have a loved one who has been injured in such a fire, you may contact us for more information on the litigation we are currently involved in regarding child-play utility lighter fires.

The articles on our website include some of the publications and papers authored by our attorneys, both before and after they joined our firm. The content of these articles should not be taken as legal advice. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views or official position of Robins Kaplan LLP.

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