Low-Quality Lighter Imports Create Urgent Need for Lighter Safety Education


BIC Lighter Safety Report: Low-Quality Lighter Imports Create Urgent Need for Lighter Safety Education

Findings Reaffirm Urgent Need for Lighter Safety Education

Shelton, CT (May 6, 2019) — Today, BIC, a world leader in manufacturing safe, high-quality lighters, unveiled its inaugural Lighter Safety Report drawing attention to a concerning influx of low-quality, unsafe lighter imports into the United States.  This finding, paired with a lack of education about lighter safety, threatens consumers’ safety.

Twenty five years ago this year, with the support of BIC, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) mandated that all lighters, like BIC, sold in the U.S. have enhanced child-resistant features to reduce the risk of children accidentally starting fires with lighters.

While that is the only requirement issued by the CPSC, ASTM International, one of the world’s largest standards-developing organizations, established voluntary lighter safety standards consistent with specifications that are mandatory in many other parts of the world. However, BIC found that 70% of lighter models tested from the U.S. did not meet these safety standards. This means that many lighters available for purchase could potentially lead to serious fires, property damages or injuries. 


This discovery inspired a survey commissioned by BIC and conducted online by The Harris Poll among over 2,000 U.S. adults, which found a lack of lighter safety knowledge among consumers. Addressing these unsafe lighter practices is particularly important for parents of young children.


Key Survey Findings Include:


  • 77% of Americans don’t realize that all safety standards, aside from requiring a child-resistant feature, are voluntary for lighters sold in the U.S. and many are not taking necessary safety precautions. Also, 81% of Americans don’t know that most pocket lighters in the U.S. are not tested extensively for safety.
  • While 68% of parents say their children have been taught about fire safety, less than half (48%) say their child has been taught about pocket lighter safety.
  • 59% of parents have not taught their children that if they find a lighter, they should not touch it and show an adult where the lighter is.


For full survey results, download the report at www.biclighter.com



“The BIC Lighter Safety Report is intended to educate consumers on the potential dangers of low-quality lighters and ensure they are taking the necessary steps to protect themselves and their families when purchasing, using and storing lighters,” said Mary Fox, General Manager of BIC North America. “Safety is a cornerstone of BIC’s business and is the number one priority for BIC® Lighters. BIC is committed to manufacturing and delivering the safest and highest quality products alongside educating the communities it proudly serves.”

BIC Teams Up with Fire Safety Leaders to Increase Lighter Safety Education

BIC is teaming up with a number of fire safety experts to encourage safer lighter practices for families, including: Fireproof Children (a division of Community Health Strategies), the National Association of Fire State Marshals, and former fire fighter and famous “Bachelorette” winner, Ryan Sutter.

BIC Lighters also hosted a lighter exchange from May 2 – 5, 2019 at SunFest music festival in West Palm Beach, Florida, replacing attendees’ lighters with an iconic BIC Lighter, trusted for its consistent high-quality and safety.

Additionally, BIC will be incorporating the data from the report into its fire safety education play safe! be safe! ® program, hosted in partnership with Fireproof Children.  Since the program’s introduction in 1994, the same time of the CPSC mandate, more than 120,000 fire safety education kits have been distributed across the U.S. and Canada, reaching close to 30 million children.

“The lighter safety report allows fire safety educators to spot information gaps among parents and children,” said former Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Captain Maria Figueroa-Rodriguez, a current play safe! be safe! Facilitator. “Partnering with BIC on fire and lighter safety education has proven to be successful in preventing fires and unsafe behavior among children. We are looking forward to integrating the new findings from the report in to our program to ensure lighter safety is more widely practiced.”

Lighter Safety Tips for Consumers

Below are the updated recommendations on lighter safety, released in the report:

  • Store lighters out of sight and reach of children, in a secure location.


  • Teach young children to tell an adult immediately if they find a lighter or matches, and not to touch them. Not all parents own lighters. Even if you do not have a pocket lighter in your home, a child could encounter one almost anywhere.


  • Explain that lighters are dangerous adult tools, and ensure children know that lighters are not toys. Never use novelty lighters that look like toys or playful objects around children.


  • Never use a lighter if it’s been compromised in any way, for example, after exposure to excessive heat or prolonged sunlight, * or in violation of the warnings and instructions accompanying all BIC Lighters.
  • Know that all lighters are not created equal. Every BIC lighter undergoes more than 50 separate, automatic, quality checks during the manufacturing process. However, low-quality lighter imports may not meet the ASTM International Safety Standards, which could result in a lighter malfunctioning.
  • Only purchase lighters that meet key safety standards. Choose a brand you trust, such as BIC Lighters, which are guaranteed to meet or exceed all recommended and mandatory safety requirements.


*Warning: Ignite lighter away from face and clothing. Contains flammable gas under pressure.  Never expose to heat above 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit) or to prolonged sunlight. Never puncture or put in a fire. Be sure flame is completely out after each use. Do not keep lit for more than 30 seconds.


Full report findings and tips are available on the BIC website Biclighter.com.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of BIC from March 14-18, 2019 among 2,015 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, including 756 frequent pocket lighter users (weekly or more often) and 644 parents of children ages 18 and under. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact Raquel Tanz; rtanz@gscommunications.com

About BIC

BIC is a world leader in stationery, lighters, and shavers. For more than 70 years, including 60 in the U.S., BIC has honored the tradition of providing high-quality, affordable products to consumers everywhere. Through this unwavering dedication and thanks to everyday efforts and investments, BIC has become one of the most recognized brands and is a trademark registered worldwide for identifying BIC products which are sold in more than 160 countries around the world.

The BIC Lighter is recognized worldwide for producing a safe, reliable flame for millions of consumers every day.  Each day, BIC produces more than 7 million lighters a day worldwide and, since 1973, has sold more than 40 billion lighters.

About play safe! be safe!

This award-winning fire safety program was developed by BIC in partnership with Fireproof Children, a division of Community Health Strategies, and other educators and fire safety experts. Since its introduction in 1994, BIC has distributed more than over 120,000 play safe! be safe! kits and has sponsored fire safety training workshops in every U.S. state and Canadian province. For more information, visit  https://www.playsafebesafe.com/.