Child Resistant Lighters: Compulsory Testing and Certification

Infants handling lighters is dangerous and may lead to burns, death and damages into the millions. Statistics prove that every third fire in Germany is caused by children. According to a decision of the European Commission, Germany enacted a decree about the marketing of childproof lighters (Lighter-Decree), which came into effect in 2007. In line with this regulation lighters now must be childproof (tried and certified in accordance with EN 13869) when placed on the market. Furthermore the marketing of lighters with entertainment value now is strictly prohibited.

 

What are lighters with entertainment value?


Lighters have an entertainment value when resembling an object, which is appealing to children up to the age of 51 Months and inspiring them to play with. Likewise no holder or other accessory item of the lighter is allowed to have this characteristic.

 

Which lighters are permitted?


Lighters only are permitted to be placed on the market, if they are tested and certified with regard to child safety, according to EN 13869 by an accredited testing centre. Also, they must be marked with information as to the producer and date of production.

 

What sort of lighters are not permitted?


Lighters with an entertainment value or lighters without childproof certification according to EN 13869 are not permitted on the market. Infringements are considered as minor breach of law. If repeated, they are regarded as criminal acts.

 

Who is responsible?


The lighter decree applies to the marketing of lighters. Accordingly producers, representatives, importers and retailers bear responsibility. Beyond that they are obliged to keep ready proofs and certificates for immediate submission to the authorities in charge, if required. This concerns all necessary documents to check the identity of the suppliers who delivered the lighters you have offered.

 

In which way testing and certification is carried out?


The lighter-decree implies the requirement of a successful testing, according to EN 13869. This regulation describes the testing procedure and determines a test with 100 - 200 infants, aged 42 - 51 months, executed by an accredited testing centre. If the test result turns out to be successful, it will be documented in a detailed test report. Certification then will be performed by the same testing centre and nothing more can block the way to marketing the lighter.

 

Who is authorized to execute testing and certification?


Testing and certification must be executed by an institution, which is accredited as certification authority for childproof lighters by a member of the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC). The (ivm) institute for marketing research of packaging in the city of Braunschweig (www.ivm-childsafe.de) is accredited and entitled to execute tests in accordance with EN 13869. Above institute is experienced in testing and certification of childproof products and packaging.

 

Are there any exceptions?


Lighters do not require any special child security mechanism, if they meet the following conditions:

  • They are securely refillable and repairable during their whole economic lifetime.
  • There is documentary proof that the lighters are developed, fabricated and sold for a durability of at least 5 years.
  • There is a manufacturer’s warranty for at least 2 years, subject to the directive 1999/44/EG dating from 1999.
  • There are specialized customer service institutions based in the European economic area for replacements or repairs.

Generally these conditions apply to high quality and stylish lighters, who as branded products also can be found in upscale price segments.

 

Further Information


Further information can be found in the following documents (German):