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•Cigarette lighters must warm for 50 s (upright) to inflict skin burns.

You are watching: How hot does a bic lighter burn

Non-intentional tobacco lighter burns room unlikely.

Intent and preparation are required to inflict burns v a tobacco lighter.

These findings room of potential interest for child-abuse and also other forensic cases.


Cigarette lighters are constant vectors in intentional call burns. Time and also temperature essential to reason thermal injury are thought about to distinguish accidental indigenous inflicted burns. This research examines the minimum time necessary to warm a cigarette lighter’s peak to temperatures qualified of inflicting any clinically clearly shows skin burn. This information could be valuable in son abuse and other forensic cases.


A literature search to be performed to create the time and also temperature in ~ which partial/full thickness skin burns room acquired, regardless of vector. Utilizing a thermocouple, the temperature the the optimal of two usual lighters to be measured at ten second intervals while maintain maximal flame organized both upright and sideways and also during cooling as soon as the flame to be extinguished.


In the literature, the lowest temperatures documented to cause burns in one 2nd were 69 °C–70 °C because that transepidermal or partial thickness burns. Native an ambient temperature prior to flame ignition, that took end 50 s for the lighter top to reach 60 °C when organized upright. After ~ 180 s, the lighters were shut off. It then took much less than 60 s because that the lighters to cool to much less than 60 °C. The BIC lighter organized to the side heated come 60 °C in about 15 s and needed over 100 s to cool to under 60 °C.


Cigarette lighter burns are frequently blamed on non-intentional occurrences. At the very least 50 s of continual flame is necessary to heat usual cigarette lighter top to temperatures qualified of inflicting clinically clearly shows skin burns. This time is much longer than the time required to light a cigarette. Therefore, for a tobacco lighter come inflict a call burn injury, there needs to it is in intent and also preparation, making accidental tobacco lighter burns unlikely.

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