Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

Giant lighter clampdown after Trading Standards swoop

West Sussex County Council Trading Standards Service.

Giant lighter clampdown after Trading Standards swoop

SOME 36,000 giant lighters – which are a jumbo version of the normal disposable ones – have been taken off the market, following swoops by officers from West Sussex County Council Trading Standards Service.

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 Trading Standards officers visited the outlets most likely to be selling the lighters and removed from sale any that 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 that the products had been properly tested. The provision of this proof is a legal requirement,” said Graeme MacPherson, Head of Trading Standards.

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,” Graeme said.

“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 has bought one is urged to take special care.

“Do not keep them alight for more than 10 seconds, do not use them at a steep angle, be careful not to drop them – and do not attempt to refill them if they are not supplied with instructions on how to do this and what fuel to use,” said Graeme.

Traders with a remaining stock of giant lighters should contact their supplier for further advice and ask them for proof that the lighters meet the European Safety Standard.

Pete Bradbury, County Council Cabinet Member for Public Protection, said: “This swift action by our Trading Standards team
resulted in a significant number of these products being prevented from reaching the public.”