Lighters placed on the market must be child- resistant!
Infants handling lighters may have life-threatening consequences. To prevent this, lighters require a mechanism, which is supposed to prevent operation by infants. As a result, in Europe only child-resistant lighters are allowed to be placed on the market which are in accordance with the standard EN 13869 (2016), based on the Commission Implementing Decision 2016/575 regarding the marketing of lighters.
Only certified products are permitted on the market!
Evidence about the correct functioning of child-resistant lighters is provided by a certification according to EN 13869 (2016) standard after successful testing. Only lighters that have been tested for child resist-ance and that have been certified by an accredited institute comply with the legal obligations. Anyone placing lighters on the market are responsible to ensure the conformity of their products with legal standards. Upon request evidence in the form of a certificate must be submitted to the authorities con-cerned – otherwise there is risk of penalties.
Technical solutions as a precaution!
Child-resistant lighters are equipped with different mechanisms that complicates or ideally prevents manipulation by infants. In many cases the technical solutions are based on an increased effort or several coor-dinated steps to trigger a flame, for example: An increased operating force complicates triggering the flame, a two-step operation mech-anism (press, then turn) or a safety bracket across the friction wheel.
Prior to the implementation of the European lighter directive (2006/502/EC) approximately 1500–1900 injuries and 34–40 fatal accidents per year were caused by children who had played with lighters (without child safety devices) and therefore generated fires in Europe. This shows, that infants handling lighters is dangerous and causes burns, injuries, damages costing potentially millions and of course risk of life. In order to counteract this problem responsibly the production, marketing and the usage of child-resistant ligthers is a promising instrument to warrant consumer safety and to protect health and life. EU press release
How to prove child resistant requirements for lighters
Child-resistant lighters must be checked for proper functioning safety features before they are allowed to be placed on the market:
EN 13869 (2016)
(COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING DECISION (EU) 2017/101)
EN 13869 (2016) is the applicable testing procedure defined by a European Standard. The testing is based on a panel test group of up to 200 infants aged between 42–51 months, that will be given 10 minutes time at most, to try to ignite the lighter. Not more than 15% of the children are allowed to be able to operate the lighter in 10 minutes time to pass the requirements of the standard.
As a research institute we have been working towards better standards of child-resistance since 1975. ivm childsafe is one of the few institutes in Europe accredited according to ISO/IEC 17025 as a testing laboratory for child-resistance. We are also the only accredited certification body for child-resistant packaging in Europe in accordance with ISO/IEC 17065. We are proud to be recognised by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a testing body.
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