Burning urgency behind lighter warning

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 16 June, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 16 June, 2001, 12:00am

Shoppers have been urged to take care when using disposable lighters after consumer watchdogs found just five out of 12 models tested were safe.

The Consumer Council's Choice magazine warned that the lighters, priced from $1 to $4.90, should be checked carefully before being bought and urged the Government to lay down guidelines to ensure their safety.

The flame on one lighter - on its normal setting - reached a height of 15cm, 5cm over what is considered safe under British regulations. The flame on another - when put on its maximum setting - reached a height of 22cm.

A council spokesman said five models failed to automatically extinguish the flame in four seconds after the gas button was released. In the worst cases, the flame lasted for 55 seconds.