Non Child Safe Lighters

Law was introduced affecting the retailers, distributors, importers and manufacturers of cigarette lighters.

Requirements have been introduced to decrease the numbers of deaths and injuries resulting from domestic fires started by young children playing with lighters.

From 11th March 2007, manufacturers and importers are prohibited from placing non-child-resistant lighters and all novelty lighters (irrespective of child-resistancy) onto the European Community market. The requirement for child-resistancy will apply mainly to disposable lighters.

Since 11th March 2008, retailers and other distributors, such as wholesalers are also prohibited from placing non-child-resistant lighters and all novelty lighters (irrespective of child-resistancy) onto the European Community market.

These requirements are additional to the general safety requirements for lighters detailed in international standard EN ISO 9994:2005.

Child-resistant Lighters

A child-resistant lighter is one that cannot be operated by a child younger than 51 months of age. In order to establish this, a lighter must meet the child-resistance requirements laid down in the standard EN 13869: 2002 or conform to rules in non-EU countries that provide an equivalent level of child-resistance.

The child-resistance requirement does not apply to: * Utility lighters (over 100mm long intended for lighting candles, barbecues, fuel for fireplaces, gas fired grills etc.); and * Lighters sold with a written guarantee of at least 2 years, that are refillable, and can be repaired by a European-based after-sales service.

Novelty Lighters

A novelty lighter includes any lighter that is appealing to children younger than 51 months of age or has entertaining audio effects or animated effects. This includes lighters in the shape of cartoon characters, toys, guns, watches, telephones, musical instruments, vehicles, human body or parts of the human body, animals, food or beverages, or that play musical notes, or have flashing lights or moving objects or other entertaining features.

Novelty lighters do not include: * Lighters that are printed or decorated with logos, labels, decals, artwork or heat shrinkable sleeves; and * Utility lighters (over 100mm long intended for lighting candles, barbecues, fuel for fireplaces, gas fired grills etc.).

As of 11th March 2007, European Community manufacturers and importers of lighters had to ensure that lighters they imported or manufactured for supply on the Community market were child-resistant. In addition, they must not import or manufacture any novelty lighters for supply in the Community after that date, even if they are child-resistant.

As of 11th March 2008, it became illegal for a retailer or distributor to supply lighters that were not child-resistant or any novelty lighters (even if they are child-resistant), irrespective of when they were obtained.

In addition, manufacturers and importers must retain documentation demonstrating that lighters they supply meet child-resistance requirements.

Retailers and distributors of lighters must also keep documentation to identify where they obtained the lighters they sell. This documentation must be readily available so that it can be shown to the enforcement authorities if requested.

Failure to comply with these requirements is an offence under the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 and the maximum penalty is a fine of £20,000 and 12 months imprisonment.

Further guidance on the requirements can be found on the government website.