Exploding Lighters?


Andem
#1
MythBusters Episode 65: "Exploding Lighter"

A lighter can explode when put in a laundry dryer.
busted
A lighter was left in a running laundry dryer but suffered no significant damage and did not explode.



According to this web site, a MythBusters episode stated that a lighter cannot explode in a laundry dryer. Well, they are wrong. I had a lighter in a pair of jeans pockets make it's way into the front pocket of the dryer, right in the rubber seal between the door and the actual drum. I had to have the dryer seal repaired at an enormous cost.. the cause was a plastic shard from the lighter peirced the seal. My dryer is a front-loader.

Well, not the point of my thread really but my first Google search turned up the above But a lighter exploded in my hand while opening a beer bottle this evening and I still smelled like butane for 3-4 hours afterwards. Any idea whether this is a normal occurance? I've never heard of this nor seen it in my life. Let's just say I'm thankful I wasn't smoking nor was anybody in my direct surroundings!
Last edited by Andem; Feb 8th, 2009 at 02:27 AM..Reason: grammar!
 
missile
#2
I have seen one explode in a smoker's hand many years ago & wouldn't trust those you can buy at the Dollar Stores at 3 for a buck either. After the VietNam War, young Vietnamese were refilling those disposables for resale and there were plenty of fire related injuries then. I gotta say the Bics take a lot of punishment and keep on working & I've never had a problem yet. i use a refillable Ronson Butane myself.
 
Andem
#3
I think I'm going to stick to the Bics now!
 
#juan
#4
When I was a smoker I went through dozens of those cheap, plastic, lighters. I think I probably lost more lighters than I wore out, or ran out of fuel. They were more reliable than matches and almost as cheap.
 
dancing-loon
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by Andem View Post

I think I'm going to stick to the Bics now!

Quit smoking, Andem!!

 
lone wolf
#6
Acrylic plastic - like those clear lighters - shatters. Bics use styrene. It's a softer material that has some give to it.
 
shadowshiv
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by Andem View Post

MythBusters Episode 65: "Exploding Lighter"

A lighter can explode when put in a laundry dryer.
busted
A lighter was left in a running laundry dryer but suffered no significant damage and did not explode.



According to this web site, a MythBusters episode stated that a lighter cannot explode in a laundry dryer. Well, they are wrong. I had a lighter in a pair of jeans pockets make it's way into the front pocket of the dryer, right in the rubber seal between the door and the actual drum. I had to have the dryer seal repaired at an enormous cost.. the cause was a plastic shard from the lighter peirced the seal. My dryer is a front-loader.

Well, not the point of my thread really but my first Google search turned up the above But a lighter exploded in my hand while opening a beer bottle this evening and I still smelled like butane for 3-4 hours afterwards. Any idea whether this is a normal occurance? I've never heard of this nor seen it in my life. Let's just say I'm thankful I wasn't smoking nor was anybody in my direct surroundings!

Next time do not attempt to open a bottle of beer with a lighter.
 
Meticularius
#8
Hi, I'm in Wichita, Kansas, USA, have utmost respect and liking for Canada & Canadians, and if I could I would move to Canada and join you, and I wanted to join this discussion about exploding lighters. A temporary guest in my home just this morning left a BIC lighter and pack of cigarettes in his rain-drenched clothes in my dryer. I heard the clatter when the lighter came out of the pocket, investigated, and got the lighter and cigarettes out. The lighter was very warm when I got it. Back in 1978 I did heavy research on BIC lighters. A man was welding and blew his heart out in New York City, a woman in a station wagon lost three kids in the seat behind her when a BIC exploded, a man walking along a street in Miami, Florida lost one leg when his lighter ignited in his pants pocket on a hot day. In 1978, in the Northeastern US, BIC manufactured one million lighters per day. Of those million, 12,500 were defective. The source of explosions in defective lighters was metal or some substance collecting under the valve lever. Striking the lighter caused these shreds. As the shreds accumulated under the lever, it was raised just enough to allow butane gas to escape the nozzle. Lighters with less fluid in them were the most likely to explode because they had more actual gas volume than a full lighter. All of this information is accurate as of 1978. As lone wolf has noted, BIC uses a different plastic than other manufacturers. The key here is the lever, and accumulation of debris under it. One sign of a defective lighter is when you release the valve lever and it closes, does the flame go out immediately or does it linger, grow smaller, and then disappear. If the latter event, then you need to examine the space under the lever, if there is no debris then a malfunction of the lever is present. It is best to throw the thing away and get another one. During my 68-years I have gone through a about 200 (guess) of these lighters. I've encountered only one that was truly defective. SOme of my friends have tried different experiments. One was throwing the lighter down on the concrete to see if it would explode. Another was to block open the valve so the BIC lighter stayed lit until the fluid was all gone. In neither of these events did the lighters explode. So, my sharing here is to alert anyone who cares to examine the valve levers, in all lights no matter who is the manufacturer or type of plastic.
 
Johnnny
#9
Wanna know a cool trick, when your lighter is dead take out the flint and use the spring to hold it. Then light the flint with another lighter till its red hot and throw it on the ground.. It makes a hell of a lot of sparks when it impacts the ground and if its that kind of party everyone is usually like "Whoaaaaa O_O"
 
lone wolf
#10
The flint out of your BIC, cut in half, will fit in your Zippo. Sort of makes you wonder why you'd buy flints at all....
 
Curious Cdn
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by Andem View Post

MythBusters Episode 65: "Exploding Lighter"

A lighter can explode when put in a laundry dryer.
busted
A lighter was left in a running laundry dryer but suffered no significant damage and did not explode.



According to this web site, a MythBusters episode stated that a lighter cannot explode in a laundry dryer. Well, they are wrong. I had a lighter in a pair of jeans pockets make it's way into the front pocket of the dryer, right in the rubber seal between the door and the actual drum. I had to have the dryer seal repaired at an enormous cost.. the cause was a plastic shard from the lighter peirced the seal. My dryer is a front-loader.

Well, not the point of my thread really but my first Google search turned up the above But a lighter exploded in my hand while opening a beer bottle this evening and I still smelled like butane for 3-4 hours afterwards. Any idea whether this is a normal occurance? I've never heard of this nor seen it in my life. Let's just say I'm thankful I wasn't smoking nor was anybody in my direct surroundings!


I would say that you're not supposed to open beer bottles with lighters.


Just a guess ...
 
Johnnny
#12
It's funny watching some people try and open a beer bottle with a lighter They eventually get it though
 

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