Sen. Jack Martins, R-Mineola, in sponsoring a bill in Albany to ban Novelty Lighters in New York State.
"With this legislation, we can protect our families from accidental fires,” Martins said, in a statement. “There is, of course, no good reason for a child to handle a lighter and this legislation takes away those characteristics that are attractive to children.”
“Quite simply, lighters are not toys and should not be made to look like toys,” he added. “This important measure protects property and most importantly, it will save lives. I thank the Firemen’s Association of New York for their support."
Joining Martins on this push are firefighter organizations, including the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York, and the Office of Fire Prevention and Control, as well as New York Public Interest Research Group.
The groups recounted the tragic story of two Arkansas toddlers, 15-month-old Peyton Edwards and 2-year-old Breydon Edwards of Russellville, Arkansas, who died after setting fire to their apartment with a motorcycle-shaped lighter.
Novelty lighters, like the one used in Arkansas, are designed to look identical to toys and are attractive to kids, as many of them resemble animals, cars, animated characters, and other typical children’s toys, the groups said.