(NEW YORK) — Something that looks as harmless as a toy car or cartoon animal could burn your child –- or even start a fire. That’s because of the increasing prevalence of novelty lighters, which New York City fire officials want to ban.
The lighters, built to resemble cookies, tractors, and other tchotchkes, are often given as stocking stuffers at holiday gatherings. Fire department spokesmen and advocacy groups say sale of the products are on the rise.
“These lighters look like toys, and kids can’t distinguish between something so potentially dangerous and a toy shaped like their favorite cartoon character,” said Russ Haven of New York Public Interest Group in a press release.
In the absence of a ban, officials are recommending against giving novelty lighters as gifts to friends with children.
Such lighters have already been banned in Maine, Massachusetts, Washington, Oregon and Hawaii.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Susan Scutti, CNN
Jamiel Lynch and Debra Goldschmidt, CNN
Magdala Louissaint, KPVI
Josh Friesen, Idaho State Journal