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Novelty Lighters are NOT Toys!

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Do you know what a novelty lighter is? Take a look at the pictures to the right. They work like any other lighter, except they also look like a child’s toy.

Osceola County Fire Rescue is asking for your help in a nationwide effort to ban novelty lighters. There are literally hundreds of lighters disguised as toy animals, cell phones, cameras, motorcycles, balls, and other colorful items that are attractive to children. They are being sold on websites, at flea markets, T-shirt shops and in your local stores!

Novelty and toy-like lighters are linked to incidents of property loss, injuries and death across the nation.

For years, the fire service has taught children to avoid lighters and that they are tools, not toys. But children are attracted to novelty lighters because they look like toys. It is nearly impossible for a child, and oftentimes an adult, to distinguish between what is a toy and what is a lighter. Unfortunately, this contributes to the disturbing statistics related to children and fire.

According to the US Fire Administration:

  • 37% of fires were started by juveniles ages 10-17 using lighters or matches.
  • Children under the age of 5 are more than 8 times as likely to die in a fire caused by playing with a heat source than are people of all other ages.
  • Fires started by “playing” with matches and lighters cause 38% of civilian fire deaths. 19% of these fire starters were 4 years old.

There is growing legislative support to ban the sale and distribution of these lighters. So far eight states have passed legislation limiting or prohibiting the sale of novelty lighters, and another 12 states are considering legislation.

You can help Osceola County Fire Rescue by removing these lighters from your possession. Please look around your home and remove any novelty lighters you find. Parents - do not purchase these type of lighters for your children.

Let’s keep our children safe from severe burns that may destroy lives and property and may disfigure them for life.