Beware of unsafe lighters

Published On: May 28 2012 08:39:33 PM EDT

Every year fires caused by lighters kill dozens of people. Most of the victims are children. Consumer Reports has a warning about some newer lighters that are especially enticing to kids. They look like toys and are called novelty lighters.

Even the Lighter Association, the industry trade group for traditional lighters, has called for a nationwide ban on the sale and distribution of novelty lighters. Yet they’re available for sale in most states, as well as online.

Most lighters, including novelty lighters, are required by the Consumer Product Safety Commission to have some kind of “mechanism that makes the lighter child-resistant.” But that doesn’t mean lighters are childproof.

Consumer Reports’ advice: Store lighters and matches out of children’s reach. And never underestimate their curiosity about fire or their ability to use a lighter.

Some state and local governments have banned the sale and distribution of novelty lighters.