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Old 03-13-2012, 07:51   #1
Dirk Pitt
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Check those BIC disposable lighters

While going through my stuff last night I came across a package of 5 BIC lighters (disposable type) that I had purchased and placed in my fire starter box. I noticed the inside of the bubble package had a white misty type coating on the inside and it was all over the lighters too. I opened it up and the entire contents were covered in this very fine powder like material. The top of each lighter looked like it had corrosion on it and would not even turn. I got one to move under extreme pressure with no spark. Also when you push the tab down in the back of lighter for the gas it just did a small release of gas, poof! and that was it. They were all bone dry – empty. The white substance must be the fuel dried up, since it has no were to go in the sealed package it just coated the inside. I am guesstimating they are 4-5 years old. Glad I found them when I did, another lesson learned in things to look for and product rotation, shelf life.

So, If you have any of these stored away you might want to give them a check, I don’t know if it was just my batch or is this an example of what will happen after years of storage to all of them. But when I buy these in the future I will put them on my “watch” list of items that may expire and rotate them out.
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:19   #2
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We keep a bunch of disposable lighters on hand, generics bought in 100 packs at Sam's. I'd wonder if you got a bad batch or something bad happened to them.

Some percentage of loss is something we've come to expect. Usually it's 2-3 out of a hundred-pack (at most - usually only one or two), depending on age. Never have come close to having all of a pack go bad; even after several years on the shelf. The pack we're using from now was bought in 2005 (I mark the pack when bought), and I don't believe we've had three bad ones out of it yet, and have used 85-90 out of the pack.

{edit - In a pack or vehicle, I've had a higher percentage fail, but that's been due to jostling & rust usually; not just "going bad".}
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:37   #3
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Old 03-13-2012, 09:21   #4
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Good reminder, thanks.

There's no difference storing right side up, or on their sides?
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Old 03-13-2012, 09:43   #5
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Good reminder, thanks.

There's no difference storing right side up, or on their sides?
Dunno, they were just thrown in a box.
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Old 03-13-2012, 09:44   #6
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Survival/Preparedness Forum

OK, I give up what are you trying to say here?
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:05   #7
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Dry fire.'08.
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:46   #8
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Learn to use a flint and steel and how to maintain it, yes they need to be maintained and it will never let you down.
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:53   #9
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OK, I give up what are you trying to say here?


He's reminding us to not eat desicant gel, haha

Good thing to think of OP. I've never had a bic fail, but I also dont smoke. I have kept one disposable outside, in the elements for about two years for when I do occasionally enjoy a cigar...and it's always worked. Must be lucky with that one.

We keep a few in the car, BOBs, etc. Going to have to check them soon I guess. Thanks for the reminder!
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Old 03-13-2012, 11:48   #10
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Learn to use a flint and steel and how to maintain it, yes they need to be maintained and it will never let you down.
OK, I'll bite. How to maintain a flint and steel?
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:06   #11
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Well you need a small firebox to make char cloth in, you need to keep dry tinder, you need cotton to make char cloth hope that helps.

Without char cloth it's a lot of work to start a fire
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Last edited by Dalton Wayne; 03-13-2012 at 12:07..
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:10   #12
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THought you were referring to maintaining the flint and the steel. Ie, coating them so they won't oxidize or something.

But you're talking about actually making the fire, gotcha.
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Last edited by Bolster; 03-13-2012 at 12:11..
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:19   #13
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OP does not say where he lives. Humid environment?

On a boat at a marina?
SE AK?
Seattle?
New Orleans/Gulf Coast?

Humidity and corrosion could be a factor there.

I say diversify, rotate and check stock. Test.

Matches
Zippo lighter / Naptha, lighter fluid in stock, sealed.
Flint/tinder
Bics
Blastmatch
Knowing how to make a bow saw
Refillable butane lighters…


I'd keep good matches stored in a mason jar.
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Old 03-13-2012, 13:44   #14
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Good reminder, thanks.

There's no difference storing right side up, or on their sides?
Ours are kept in their packs which holds them upright. Orientation may well play a part; don't know.
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Old 03-13-2012, 14:36   #15
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i put a couple boxes worth of strike anywhere matches in a glass jar with a rubber seal - the type with the wire clasp closure. i used them to start fires in the pit but left hem in the garage with the charcoal and fuel and such. guess i stored them with too much humidity in the summer or something as i left them out one night and the inside of the jar condensated enough to ruin all of them.
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Old 03-13-2012, 17:21   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LSUAdman View Post
He's reminding us to not eat desicant gel, haha
That, and keep a few around to keep moisture down. Never hurts.
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Old 03-13-2012, 17:56   #17
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That, and keep a few around to keep moisture down. Never hurts.

I really need to buy a few packs. I've been putting it off for too long. Plus they taste sooooo good.
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Old 03-13-2012, 19:29   #18
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I worked for Bic for 10 years. I never heard of a shelf life and never heard of any age problems. There was an issue about 20 years or so ago where Bic lighters were losing their gas and exploding but that was corrected before I started working for them.



/



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Old 03-14-2012, 07:47   #19
Dirk Pitt
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Originally Posted by G29Reload View Post
OP does not say where he lives. Humid environment?

On a boat at a marina?
SE AK?
Seattle?
New Orleans/Gulf Coast?

Humidity and corrosion could be a factor there.

I say diversify, rotate and check stock. Test.

Matches
Zippo lighter / Naptha, lighter fluid in stock, sealed.
Flint/tinder
Bics
Blastmatch
Knowing how to make a bow saw
Refillable butane lighters…


I'd keep good matches stored in a mason jar.
I am in Los Angeles,we have lots of issues but humidity isn't one of them! lol
Just FYI for everyone, I have flint, matches all that other stuff this is just one more thing I have in my box o fire !

Last edited by Dirk Pitt; 03-14-2012 at 07:48..
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:36   #20
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I have a handful of refillable jet lighters, disposables rotated regularly, matches, and firestarter kits (x3), but never underestimate a good magnifying glass during daytime in LA.
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Old 03-14-2012, 09:03   #21
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I'm about a pack a day smoker and use the Bic's. I've actually never had a problem with them. I keep two in my car, carry one in my pocket, have two in my EDC bag, several inside the house, and two or three on the table on our patio. The only thing I've ever noticed to effect them is when they are cold, or when you accidentally run them through the washing machine.... BUT THEY STILL WORK once they dry out of course!!!
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Old 03-16-2012, 17:04   #22
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Always check the integrity of your preps.

Bic disposables have been my personal gold standard.
Been using them without any unexplained failures since the the 70's.
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:19   #23
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When I smoked, I have left lighters in my car and came outside to have a new lighter doing the "Poof" you mentioned. I have also come out to the car to find pieces of lighter all over the car. I suspect both had a lot to do with the Arizona Sun. The former being a pressure release to avoid the latter's fate.
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Old 03-21-2012, 18:01   #24
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I quit smoking over 2 years ago but still keep a Bic in my pocket daily even though it never gets used-------just reached in my pocket and pulled it out and it fired right up.
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