By Kirsty Topping
A CRAZE for giant lighters has sparked a safety alert after several exploded, causing severe burns.
Trading Standards officers found that several brands were prone to leaking fuel.
Already a teenager in England has been severely burned when using one of the lighters, while a house in Gloucester was set on fire when one exploded.
The lighters, which are five times the size of a normal one, can also be easily operated by small children due to the size of the parts.
Despite the warnings Trading Standard officers across Scotland say they are still finding the devices for sale.
It’s thought people are buying them as a quirky way to light a summer barbeque or to entertain friends while smoking.
In recent weeks Trading Standards officers have confiscated several batches of the lighters from shops and markets in the Highlands and Dumfries and Galloway after they failed to meet safety standards.
Gordon Robb, head of Highland Council’s Trading Standard’s team, said:
“Our concern is that given this time of year, as well as being close to the face, these types of lighters may also be used to light barbeques and the risks to personal safety are obvious. “
Last month 17-year-old Todd Howard from Gosprt was severely burned after using one of the devices to light a candle.
He was holding the lighter upside down when the flame erupted over his hands.
“It hurt a lot and I could feel the blisters starting to form on my fingers.
“I had to return to hospital several times to have my fingers checked and the dressings changed.
“I was lucky it was only my fingers. If this had happened to someone who smoked it could easily have been their face or their eyes.
“These lighters may look good but they are a real danger and should not be on sale. “