The number of fires and burn injuries caused by faulty "utility lighters" should be reduced thanks to a new ISO International Standard defining safety requirements for these devices.
Utility lighters - also known as "grill lighters", "fireplace lighters", "lighting rods" or "gas matches" - can present dangers such as excessive flame heights, flaring, spitting and sputtering, and during refueling. They have also been known to rupture or leak gas when dropped or when exposed to heat, or continue to burn even when the trigger is released.
Edward Lewiecki, convenor of the ISO working group that developed the new standard, ISO 22702:2003, commented: "Utility lighters, being flame-producing devices, can in the same way as other flame sources, present a potential hazard to the end-user. The purpose of ISO 22702 is to establish requirements for utility lighters in order to ensure a reasonable degree of safety when used for intended purposes and reasonable foreseeable misuse of such lighters."
ISO 22702:2003, Utility lighters - General consumer-safety requirements, provides safety specifications for utility lighters which should be taken into account by their manufacturers before they are put on the market for consumer use. It also includes requirements on the refilling of utility lighters, product marking, instructions and warnings, test methods as well as functional and structural integrity requirements.
"The major benefit of this safety standard will be to provide consumers and other parties some degree of assurance that a technical risk analysis of this product has been conducted by an international group of experts in the lighter field. A utility lighter conforming with the standard and used in the intended manner presents very little danger," further noted Mr. Lewiecki.
ISO 22702 will be useful for the manufacturers of utility lighters, government agencies concerned with consumer safety, testing laboratories evaluating conformity with the standard as well as groups concerned with consumer product safety - and attorneys acting in liability cases.
ISO 22702:2003 costs 91 Swiss francs and is available from ISO national member institutes (see list with contact details), and from ISO Central Secretariat. The new standard is the work of ISO technical committee ISO/TC 61, Plastics, working group WG 1, Cigarette lighters.