AROUND 36,000 giant lighters – a jumbo version of the normal disposable ones – have been taken off the market, following swoops by West Sussex trading standards officers.
An estimated one million giant lighters have found their way into the country and a small number of different brands have caused serious incidents, including a house fire and severe burns to a consumer’s hand.
They started off being supplied from markets and car boot sales, but soon found their way into bargain shops where they sell for between £1.50 and £3.
West Sussex officers visited the outlets they considered most likely to be selling the lighters and removed from sale any which were potentially dangerous.
“This was because they had either been the subject of safety incidents elsewhere or because the sellers could not prove to us the products had been properly tested,” said head of trading standards Graeme MacPherson.
“The provision of this proof is a legal requirement.”
A total of 100 lighters were seized.
A selection was sent for testing – and all failed safety standards or had inadequate safety warnings.
“Following these tests, the importers of the affected products removed some 32,000 lighters from their stocks,” said Mr MacPherson.
“One importer we identified had been storing the lighters in an old lorry on his driveway – the fire and rescue service insisted upon its immediate removal.”
Giant lighters must have some form of safety warning and anyone who had bought one was urged to take special care.
Traders with a remaining stock of giant lighters should contact their supplier for further advice.