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Fire caused by a malfunctioning jumbo lighter

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Jumbo lighters shown in proportion to a regular sized cigarette with damage to the lighter that malfunctioned.

Jumbo lighters shown in proportion to a regular sized cigarette with damage to the lighter that malfunctioned.

How this fire happened

A jumbo lighter ignited following a malfunction causing burns to a book, table and carpet.

The lighter continued to release gas after being used until ignited by a nearby candle.

The lighter had been purchased in Ireland by the occupier two weeks previously.

Jumbo lighters have been sold at markets and car boot sales across the UK.

Trading Standards are concerned over a number of extra-large cigarette lighters after tests found some failed the relevant safety standards.

The lighters are similar in style to normal plastic disposable lighters but are about approx. 16cm long and 4cm wide.

The lighters failed safety tests because they exhibited flaring, which results in an unpredictable flame.

In addition it was found that it would fail to extinguish and remain burning below its wind shield.

That can result in the main container melting and releasing gas (in some cases fireballs). 

These lighters clearly contain a large amount of fuel which has the potential to cause a serious fire.

Fortunately, nobody was hurt in this incident, but injuries have been reported involving these lighters in other parts of the country.

We are also concerned that these novelty lighters can be particularly attractive to children who are tempted to play with them.

The effect it had

Safety message

Safety Message - Do
  • If you see this type of lighter for sale please inform Trading Standards :-
    • East Sussex County Council - Telephone: 0345 60 80 197
    • Brighton & Hove City Council - Telephone: 01273 292523
  • Dispose of lighters safely
  • Keep lighters and matches away from children
  • Only purchase child safe lighters conforming to European safety standards.
Safety Message Don't
  • Be tempted to purchase a jumbo lighter.
  • If you have a jumbo lighter in your household, do not use it.
  • Sell, import or transport jumbo lighters.

Further information

The Law

The General Public Safety Regulations require products meet strict European safety standards. The relevant standards for lighters are BS EN ISO 9994:2006 and EN 13869 for child-resistance.

Manufacturers and importers are required to have technical documentation to show their products have been tested and meet the safety rules.

Transport of jumbo lighters is governed by The European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road forbids the transport of lighters containing more than 10 grams of fuel.

For further information contact the Dangerous Goods Division of the Department for Transport on 020 7944 2755 or email dgenquiries@vca.gov.uk

Do you have a similar story?

Finally, we would be interested to hear from you if you have had a similar experience to the fire detailed above, or would like to raise any related matters or even just generally comment on how useful you found our Black Museum.

Please send us your details and a comments via our on-line feedback form.



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Latest Update :
30 January 2015
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