Fire safety – lighters, matches and children's pyjamas

Always keep all cigarette lighters and matches out of the reach of children. Be extra careful when children are wearing pyjamas around heaters or fires.

What you need to know

  • Disposable lighters, and cheap refillable ones, must be child-resistant. This means only that they are harder to use, not that a child can't use them.
  • All all disposable cigarette lighters must comply with the product safety standard.
  • There are special rules for manufacturing children's nightwear, and the labels on them can help you make safer choices for your children.

What you need to do

Cigarette lighters

Only buy lighters that are child-resistant. This means that they are harder to use, but it isn't impossible for a child to use them.

Using cigarette lighters safely

  • Throw away your old lighters that aren't child-resistant. Tell friends and family to do this too.
  • Remember that child-resistant lighters are safer — but they're not childproof.
  • Never let your child play with cigarette lighters or matches.
  • Do not ask your child to fetch your lighter for you.
  • Do not give your child a lighter to chew on or play with.

Nightwear

All clothing and fabric will burn. Some may burn at a slower rate than others, but all fabric will eventually burn. Around heaters or fires you need to be extra careful about the safety of your children’s nightwear.

  • Buy nightwear that is snug-fitting whenever possible. This reduces the risk of catching fire compared with baggy, loose nightwear.
  • It's important to get the right size for your child. Don't buy garments for your child to 'grow into' as this may mean they aren't as snug-fitting as the manufacturer intended.
  • Remember too that any hand-me-downs you get for your child must fit snugly before you dress your child in them. If you get hand-me-downs that are a couple of sizes too big, wait until they've grown enough to fit into them. As we know, it won't take long.
  • Children should stay at least a metre from the heater at all times.
  • If children are wearing nightwear with a red label they should stay far away from any heaters or fires. There's a high risk of the nightwear catching fire.
  • If you are sewing pyjamas for children:
    • Polyester doesn't burn as quickly as cotton and is suitable for children’s nightwear.
    • If you're using cotton, make close-fitting, ski-type pyjamas. Flames don't spread as quickly over close-fitting garments.
    • For either type of fabric, use polyester thread.

Check fire danger labels

All clothing has some fire risk.

Children’s nightwear being sold should now have either a white or red label. Buy children’s nightwear with the white ‘Caution” label whenever possible.

White clothing label - Caution keep away from heat and flame

This label means the garment is either made of a fabric that burns more slowly, or the garment is designed to be worn snug fitting to reduce risk.

Read clothing label - Warning high fire danger keep away from heat and flame

This means that the garment is a higher fire risk — better to use in summer than winter as it's less likely to be used near a heater or fireplace.

If you have a safety problem or concern

If you have some concerns about the safety of a product or if you’re injured by a product, you should tell the retailer or supplier about it.

You also have the right to ask for a remedy such as a refund, replacement or repair under the Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA). One of the guarantees in the CGA is that products must be of acceptable quality and this includes that the product is safe.

Faulty products – Consumer Protection(external link)

In addition, it’s good to report the details to us – product safety reports from the public help government agencies to identify systemic issues and help us to prioritise and respond to issues.

Report an unsafe product

If you find a cigarette lighter or children's nightwear that doesn't meet the mandatory standard, you can report it to the Commerce Commission New Zealand.

Complaint form – Commerce Commission New Zealand Te Komihana Tauhokohoko(external link)