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Oregon Senate Passes Novelty Lighter Bill
Rich Hoover
Office of State Fire Marshal
Office: (503) 934-8217

Photograph link valid for 30 days (Note: These resemble toy tractors, however the tractor on the left is actually a lighter.  The one on the right is a real toy tractor.)
The Oregon Senate today passed HB 2365 banning the manufacture, sale, and distribution of toylike (novelty) lighters. The Senate vote comes just 19 days after the unanimous vote from the House of Representatives. Governor Kulongoski is expected to sign the bill which was carried to the Senate floor by Senators Suzanne Bonamici (D-Washington County/Portland) and Larry George (R-Sherwood).
"This is an exciting day for the fire service," said State Fire Marshal Randy Simpson. "We're glad that Oregon Senators and Representatives have taken a leading role in keeping these deceptive devices out of the hands of children. This bill will save lives, prevent injury and property loss from fire."
Under the bill, novelty lighters with features attractive to children, including visual effects, flashing lights, musical sounds, and toylike designs are prohibited from sale, sold or distributed, or manufactured for the purpose of sale or distribution in Oregon.
OSFM's Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Program Coordinator Judy Okulitch has worked for years to get toylike lighter bans on the state and national level. "This has been a long road to success," said Okulitch. "It's taken a lot of hard work by many people but now we can rest a little easier knowing these dangerous tools that are so attractive to children will be removed from retail shelves in Oregon."
The bill becomes effective 90 days after the Governor's signature and would make Oregon the third state to ban toylike lighters, after Maine and Tennessee. Fourteen other states are considering similar bans.
The National Association of State Fire Marshals as well as The Lighter Association, a national trade group, is supporting an effort to ban novelty toylike lighters across the country.
For more information on toylike lighters, visit http://www.oregon.gov/OSP/SFM/Novelty_toylike_Lighters.shtml