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We’ve all seen the novelty lighters at gas stations, convenience stores and the dollar stores. They come in all shapes and sizes. I have personally seen the lighters that look like cell phones, animals, crab claws, and race cars. State Fire Marshall Wayne Goodwin is leading the fight to have these lighters banned in North Carolina. Goodwin is concerned that a child who would be naturally drawn to the lighters will burn themselves.

Goodwin reported that a child in a convenience store was playing with a novelty lighter last month and started a fire. Luckily no one was hurt, but the possibility of an injury from the incident was great. There are currently four other states that have bans on novelty lighters; Maine, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Oregon. According to The United States Fiore Administration more than 30 percent of fires with a child fatality are set by a child who was playing with a lighter or matches.

Common sense tells us to keep lighters out of the reach of children, but when the lighter is in the shape of a toy it becomes even harder to keep a child away from the lighter. Keep lighters in an area where a child cannot reach them and explain the dangers to your child. Prevention is the key to safety in this area and the best way to minimize the risk is to not purchase the novelty lighters.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm (VA-NC law offices ) edits the Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and the Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard injury law blog as a pro bono service to consumers. Lawyers licensed in: VA, NC, SC, WV, DC, KY, who handle car, truck, railroad, and medical negligence cases and more.

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