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Prevention · Novelty/Toy Like Lighters

NOTE: Law Effective July 26, 2009

Overview of Novelty/Toy Like Lighter Law

This regulation prohibits manufacturing, selling, offering for sale and distribution, or importing Novelty/Toy like lighters for purpose of sale or distribution in Washington State. It also prohibits possession of Novelty/Toy like lighters in inventory for purposes of sale or distribution.

Prohibiting the sale of these devices will protect children from a dangerous instrument that encourages curiosity and invites unintentional misuse. Novelty/Toy like lighters place children and their families at risk for burn injuries, death and property loss.

ESSB 5011 - Novelty LightersAdobe PDF Format

Brief Description of Novelty/Toy Like Lighters

Many Novelty/Toy like lighters look like animals, miniature cars, musical instruments, game pieces and other objects that attract children. Other novelty lighters are look-alike miniatures of adult tools or instruments. For example: cell phones, hammers, paintbrushes, and felt-tip Novelty Fish Lightermarkers. These novelty lighters are dangerous in the hands of children unable to tell the difference between a toy and a Novelty/Toy like lighter.

Novelty Lighter Gallery (1.7 mb)Adobe PDF Format

A Novelty/Toy like lighter is a lighter that is designed to look or resemble an object other than a lighter, and may also have audio visual effects; the designs and effects make the lighter appealing or attractive to children.

The following tips will aid in identifying Novelty/Toy like lighters:

  • Design of Novelty/Toy like lighters: Has a shape that resembles Novelty Bear Lighter or imitates an object other than a lighter that is appealing to children.
  • Audio effects: Include music, animal sounds and whistles, buzzers, beepers or other noises not related to the flame-producing function of the lighter.
  • Visual effects: include flashing lights, color-changing lights and changing images.

A Novelty/Toy like lighter IS NOT a disposable lighter that is printed or decorated with logos, decals, artwork, or heat shrinkable sleeves.


The prohibition and ban on Novelty/Toy like lighters is enforced by local fire and law enforcement agencies.

If you are aware of violators of this law, please contact your local fire department to report the violation.

Penalties and Fines

Wholesale dealer: A written warning for the first violation and $500 for each subsequent violation.

Retail dealer: A written warning for the first violation and $250 for each subsequent violation.

The authority having jurisdiction may bring an action seeking:

  • injunctive relief to prevent or end a violation;
  • to recover civil penalties; or
  • to recover attorneys' fees and other enforcement costs.


The sale and distribution of novelty lighters is prohibited.

This prohibition DOES NOT apply to novelty lighters in interstate commerce that are not intended for distribution within Washington State.


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