Watch Where You Put Lighters

  • Peter McCardle
Consumer Affairs

With summer's heat upon us, the Minister of Consumer Affairs Peter McCardle is urging New Zealanders not to place products which may explode or cause fires in intensely sunny spots such as on car dashboards, or windowsills. "Hot spots inside the car can be dangerous when flammable or explosive products are put there," Mr McCardle said.

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs has been informed of a number of instances of cigarette lighters, clothes and other articles bursting into flames when exposed to the concentrated heat of a car or lounge window.

"I advise people to think ahead and take commonsense precautions," Mr McCardle said. "For example, if a car is left out in the sun

- remove gas cigarette lighters from the car
- keep the dashboard and rear parcel shelf clear
- use an internal sunshield on the windscreen
- remove all pressurised LPG canisters and aerosol cans

"Don't expose cigarette lighters to direct sunlight ­ they can explode in the heat if left out too long. At home, the magnifying effects of a vase on a windowsill can burn fabric or paper in its path. Before leaving the house, check that:

- glass vases and other objects are moved away from window sills so they cannot magnify the sun's rays
- blinds or curtains are drawn so as to protect fabrics
- objects that could ignite, such as cigarette lighters and matches are removed away from any direct sunlight
- if using wheat bags to relieve aches and pains, make sure they're not left in enclosed spaces while still warm."