Utah Department of Public Safety

State Fire Marshal - Novelty & Toy-Like Lighter Legislation - Quick Facts

Toy-like and novelty lighters by design have characteristics that make them appealing and intriguing to adults and children alike. Many have lights, visual effects and sound, making them even more attractive to children. Some resemble toys or characters familiar to children such as Gumby, rubber ducky, fishing poles, and Nemo. They are readily available in places such as gas stations, convenience stores, hardware stores, sporting goods stores, RV outlets, and some craft stores. They are easily mistaken for toys and are a clear and present deadly risk to our children and to youth that is both unacceptable and preventable. Toy-like lighters put our children and families at risk of burn injury, death and property loss.

  • Ron Morris, the Utah State Fire Marshal, has taken the lead in promoting life and fire safety for our children, by encouraging the now existing ban and restriction on the sale of toy-like and novelty lighters being sold and distributed in the State of Utah.
  • Over 70 million toylike lighters are imported into the United States annually. As a result of the European Union ban on toy-like lighters in 2007, more of these lighter types have been redirected for sale to US markets.
  • In Utah, the newly passed Novelty and Toy-like lighter legislation clearly prohibits the sale and distribution of toy-like lighters, however was careful not to restrict the sale or distribution of normal use lighters, e.g., fireplace and barbeque lighters, novelty collectables, and smoking product lighters.
  • Fireplace/barbeque, collectables and smoking product ligthers, remain a threat for children.  Parental guidance and education for children in fire & life safety, proper use, security, and disposal of lighters is parimount and remains on the forefront of child safety training.
  • It is not enough to warn children of the dangers of fire producing empliments. Basic, clear and simple training with hands on visual demonstrations are important for this type of education.
  • Our most precious legacy is our children, we must do all in our power to protect children from the serious consequences of unintended misuse of lighters and matches.
  • Nancy Orr, Oregon State Fire Marshal said, “There are no good reasons that lighters should be manufactured to resemble toys.”
  • The Utah State Fire Marshal's office website is a great resource with related articles and the latest developments for fire and life safety training for children, juvenile fire setter interventions and for information regarding the use and handling matches, lighters and uncontrolled fire, including news reports, incident reports, important associated web-links and a novelty lighter gallery complete with videos.  Search under “Fire & Life Safety Education”, “Consumer services and fact sheets”, “Toy & Novelty Lighter Initiative” and more. The website is located online at:

 http://publicsafety.utah.gov/firemarshal/ToyNoveltyLighterInitiative.html

“The initiative to ban the sale of novelty & toy-like lighters, is designed to protect the industry, the consumer and to keep our children safe from the devastating affects of fire; severe disfiguring burns, the destruction of property and premature death, that may devastate lives and scar families for life.” -- Fire Marshal Ron Morris

[Last Update - Wednesday, 18-Sep-2013 14:56:36 MDT]