For Bill Clemmer April 8, 2008 was just another spring day. This machinist had just come back in from a smoking break when his lighter exploded in his pocket, burning away his clothing and giving him 3rd degree burns over most of his body.
Bill’s family rushed to the hospital to find him badly injured. While the doctors did everything they could for him, he succumbed to his wounds 4 weeks later and passed away.
What happened to Bill Clemmer? Why did the lighter explode?
Forensic experts explained that the lighter Bill used had a faulty seal which caused the butane to continue flowing even after he’d turned the lighter off. The result was that his lighter still had a lit flame inside its metal cap when he put it back in his pocket.
The butane continued flowing until the lighter tilted and the flame made its way into the main compartment causing all of the butane to explode…
Unfortunately Bill Clemmer’s story is not unique. According to a Consumer Product Safety Commission report defective lighters cause approximately 1000 injuries and deaths in the United States every year.
Lighter regulations are not enforced by the US government. There is a voluntary safety test that manufacturers and importers can simply ignore before they put these defective and dangerous products in stores across the country.
For years there has been little government oversight of these products. The lighter market is being flooded with these cheaply made lighters – 85% of which are made cheaply overseas and imported. They haven’t passed any safety tests and people are still carrying them around in their pockets.
Another scary fact is that of those companies that do opt to have their lighters tested, only 30% of the lighters pass inspection. The remaining 70% that don’t pass the inspection are still allowed to be sold in the US!
Another disturbing trend has been e-cig mods. Smokers view them as a cheaper alternative to electronic cigarettes, but they are also unregulated and pose a serious threat to their users. Users import all of the pieces separately and build it themselves. The pieces are many times incompatible with each other and run the risk of exploding. Check out why e-cig mods are a bad idea