Retailers Urged Not To Sell Novelty Lighters To Kids This Christmas

  • Peter McCardle
Consumer Affairs

As the Christmas holidays approach, Consumer Affairs Minister Peter McCardle is appealing to parents and retailers to help the campaign to prevent fires caused by children using easily-lit cigarette lighters, especially novelty ones.

Novelty lighters on sale now are very attractive to youngsters and come in an array of designs to catch the eye and to look like toys, including fast cars, guns, cellphones and even hand grenades.

Mr McCardle is urging retailers to restrict sales to people over sixteen.

"Parents of young children have a strong role to play as well. I urge them to be vigilant to ensure that their kids don't play with novelty cigarette lighters, as the consequences could be fatal."

The Government is taking steps to try to prevent further deaths from house fires caused by lighters. New controls are coming in early next year. Lighters that are not child-resistant are being banned from sale from May. But Mr McCardle said those already in circulation pose a potential danger in the hands of young children, although they are a harmless gimmick to adults.

"It's up to parents to make sure they know what their children are playing with, and to keep lighters in the house well out of harm's way."