Taking Stony's oft given advice, I Googled "accidents with disposable lighters" and came up with a cut and paste of info:
THE SAFETY ISSUE
While their lighters were selling like hotcakes, BIC was secretly accumulating a pile of lawsuits. The New York Times found out about this and in 1987 published an article revealing that BIC had settled more than 20 cases in which their lighters had leaked, exploded, failed, ignited while lying on overheated dashboards, or otherwise malfunctioned and injured somebody.
The company issued denials, stonewalled, hedged, etc. Their stock price plunged 25%. After a week during which all sorts of rumors swirled about the things their BIC lighters had got up to, BIC finally caved and admitted that, yes, they had settled lawsuits, and that in fact, they had an additional 42 lawsuits pending. And yes, it was true, a woman had died in an accident involving a BIC lighter.
But, BIC said, most of those accidents happened because the customer used the lighters incorrectly--not BIC's fault. And the model of lighter that killed that woman had been discontinued. Not to worry, they said. And it worked. Soon BIC's stock price started to go back up again.
But the issue of safety didn't go away. And here is where the disposable lighter-road diverges into two paths: one path that safety advocates take, and one taken by smokers who like their lighters to have some guts.
BIC kept getting sued over incidents in which their lighters had severely injured children, exploded when dropped, etc. Lawyers for BIC argued that the children had clearly been left unsupervised--not BIC's fault, in other words. BIC said that out of 50 such lawsuits, they lost only 3, and two of them were later reversed.
About 1 billion lighters are sold in the US each year.
For every million lighters sold, one person gets injured.
About 3 million lighters are sold per day.
This means three people are injured each day from disposable lighters.
One person dies each year due to accidents with disposable lighters.
In 1993, the Consumer Product Safety Commission estimated that 97% of the house fires that happened in the US that year were caused by disposable lighters.
if you must buy lighters, please don't buy the disposable ones.! Go for the Zippo! Or if you don't want to spend that extra money on keeping your nose from getting burned off and you still must have the disposable variety, then be sure to choose one that does have the extra safety features on it.
Notice how the Zippo lighter has a lid that snaps closed. This ensures that the flame will be put out for certain, thereby reducing the likelihood of the majority of the accidents described above. The fact that Zippos are made of metal and thus won't melt or develop punctures is another key feature.
(Photo from automotive.com)http://dailyapple.blogspot.com/2009/08/apple-405-disposable-lighters.html