Lighters are consumer products which are inherently hazardous,
since they produce a flame and contain a fuel. They pose a serious
risk when misused by children and have caused a number of deaths
and injuries across the E U.
A decision was made by the European Commission, which has been
introduced into the UK, to ensure that only child resistant
lighters are placed onto the European market and also to prohibit
the sale of novelty lighters.
From 11th March 2007 manufacturers and importers are prohibited
from placing non child resistant and novelty lighters onto the
From 11th March 2008 the prohibition will extend to retailers
supplying these lighters to consumers.
Implications for manufacturers and
Documentation demonstrating that the lighters comply with the
relevant standards must be retained.
Lighters must be child resistant i.e. cannot be operated by a
child under 51 months.
No novelty lighter can be placed on the European market for the
first time. A novelty lighter is one that:
- Is appealing to children younger than 51 months
- May have entertaining audio or animated effects
- May have flashing lights, moving objects or other entertaining
- May be of appealing shape or form e.g. toys, food and human
body parts or Includes lighter holders
Lighters must still continue to meet the safety specifications
detailed in BS EN ISO 9994:2006, as well as the additional child
resistant requirements laid down in BS EN 13869: 2002.
Implications for retailers and wholesalers
Required to keep, and to show on request by their local
authority Trading Standards authority, documentation identifying
the party from whom they obtained their supply of lighters.
Lighters must be properly marked before they can be sold to
consumers (discussed further below)
What is exempt?
It is mandatory for all lighters to comply with BS EN ISO 9994 –
lighter safety standard, however all lighters except the following
must also comply with the child-resistance safety requirements of
- Lighters with a specific purpose e.g. barbecue and utility
- Lighters that are sold with a 2 year written guarantee, are
refillable and can be repaired by a European-based after-sales
There are no exceptions for novelty lighters all supply is
Lighters that are printed with logos or have shrink - wrapped
artwork are not classed as novelty lighters.
What simple tests can be carried out to ensure the
lighter meets the safety requirements?
Take a look at the lighter, does it resemble a novelty
- A shape or form that is appealing to children under 51
- Entertaining effects.
Check that all lighters are accompanied with the appropriate
safety information and the specific word “WARNING” in proximity.
Along with the relevant safety information, it should also contain
the statements “KEEP AWAY FROM CHILDREN” and “Ignite lighter away
from face and clothing”.
Check that each lighter is marked with the time period of
manufacture, this can be in code, and the manufacturer can be
Press the ignition system to check for child resistance.
Consider whether a child of 51 months or younger would be able to
Other approaches to child resistance are possible.
This list is not exhaustive, you will be responsible for
ensuring the lighters comply with the relevant standard.
Where you have any concerns regarding lighters that you have
purchased for resale please contact your local Trading Standards
What will happen if you fail to comply?
Trading Standards are responsible for enforcing the requirements
of this decision. Where contraventions are discovered, officers
will issue safety notices, which will require the relevant party to
rectify the breach.
Where a retailer fails to show on request documentation
identifying the party from whom they obtained their supply of
lighters or where a party contravenes a safety notice, he shall be
guilty of an offence which is punishable by fine and/or
Trading Standards departments will continue to use existing
powers to remove from the market place lighters that have been
found to be unsafe due their child appealing nature.
This leaflet is not an authoritative interpretation of the law
and is intended only for guidance.
Further guidance can be obtained on the above issue from the
Department for Business and Regulatory Reform or by visiting their
website at http://www.berr.gov.uk/files/file43645.pdf.
For individual queries, please contact:
VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL