Title:
Lighter Extension Device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates to a lighter extension device (1) preferably for ignition of fireworks, comprising a lighter (15), an elongated handle (5) with a first and second end part (5A, 5B), a lighter holder (2), and activations means (8), where the lighter holder (2) is arranged at the first end part (5A) of the elongated handle (5), and the activations means (8) comprise an activator (7), a connection part (9) and an activation unit (6), wherein the connection part (9) is arranged inside the elongated handle (5) and adapted to transfer a movement of the activation unit (6) to the activator (7), where the activation unit (6) is arranged in an opening (10) of the elongated handle (5) and the activator (7) is placed at the lighter holder (2) at the first end part (5A) of the elongated handle (5).



Inventors:
Tornquist, Henrik (Holte, DK)
Application Number:
11/632974
Publication Date:
04/10/2008
Filing Date:
07/20/2004
Assignee:
Henrik Tormquist
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F23Q2/32; F23Q21/00
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Primary Examiner:
BERNSTEIN, DANIEL A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JAMES C. WRAY (MCLEAN, VA, US)
Claims:
1. A lighter extension device (1) preferably for ignition of fireworks, comprising a lighter (15), an elongated handle (5) with a first and second end part (5A, 5B), a lighter holder (2), and activations means (8), where the lighter holder (2) is arranged at the first end part (5A) of the elongated handle (5), and the activations means (8) comprise an activator (7), a connection part (9) and an activation unit (6), wherein the connection part (9) is arranged inside the elongated handle (5) and adapted to transfer a movement of the activation unit (6) to the activator (7), where the activation unit (6) is arranged in an opening (10) of the elongated handle (5) and the activator (7) is placed at the lighter holder (2) at the first end part (5A) of the elongated handle (5), characterized in that the lighter holder (2) is replaceable and comprises an attachment part (3) and a holder part (4), where the attachment part (3) is adapted to be arranged at the first end part (5A) of the elongated handle (5) and the holder part (4) is adapted to receive the lighter.

2. Device (1) according to claim 1, characterized in that the elongated handle (5) is provided with a safety feature comprising a off-set cut (11) at the first end part (5A) of the elongated handle (5) and a complementary recess inside the attachment part (3) of the lighter holder (2), where the off-set cut (11) and the recess are adapted to releasably engage.

3. Device (1) according to claim 1, characterized in that the activator (7) comprises a flanged part adapted to press on an ignition member (14) of the lighter (15).

4. Device (1) according to claim 1, characterized in that the lighter holder (2) preferably is provided with a moveable cover part.

5. Device (1) according to claim 1, characterized in that the device (1) is provided with a light source and an energy source.

6. Device (1) according to claim 1, characterized in that the elongated handle (5) consists of a standard tube.

7. Device (1) according to claim 1, characterized in that the lighter (15) is a standard lighter.

8. Device (1) according to claim 1, characterized in that the connection part (9) is a rigid member with a number of angle bends (12).

9. Device (1) according to claim 1, characterized in that the elongated handle (5) has a length of more than 200 mm, preferably between 350 mm to 700 mm.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a lighter extension device preferably for ignition of fireworks, comprising a lighter, an elongated handle with a first and second end part, a lighter holder, and activations means, where the lighter holder is arranged at the first end part of the handle, and the activations means comprise an activator, a connection part and an activation unit wherein the connection part is arranged inside the elongated handle and adapted to transfer a movement of the activation unit to the activator, where the activation unit is arranged in an opening of the elongated handle and the activator is placed at the lighter holder at the first end part of the elongated handle.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

For celebrating annual or special events, fireworks display is becoming more and more common to people of all ages.

Nowadays not only specialists prepare and ignite large fireworks displays, non-specialists can easily buy fireworks in the stores or via the internet e.g. in connection with New Year's eve, 4th of July or Guy Fawkes day.

The trend is moving towards fireworks becoming more powerful for every year, thus the stores offer large rockets, multiple shot fountains/repeaters and very powerful crackers, which can cause serious injuries if handled improperly

To use fireworks the following simple fireworks safety rules must be complied with;

    • fireworks, e.g. rockets, must be safely placed in a tube or bottle while fountains/repeaters must be placed on the ground,
    • wear safety goggles,
    • use fireworks with an appropriately long fuse,
    • never go back to fireworks, which fail to ignite
    • never hold a lighted firework item in your hand,
    • never buy fireworks, which have not been approved by government, and
    • never use home-made fireworks.

To avoid injuries related to fireworks, nearly every health department in the world demands public warning about fireworks, during television spots, in papers and magazines.

However, every New Year's eve in Denmark several persons injure their eyes or hands as a result of improper handling of fireworks. Not only children receive injuries, grown-ups not complying with the aforementioned safety rules are often injured too.

In connection with fireworks, one major problem is how to safely ignite the fireworks. Using safety fuses (e.g. filament fuses, tube fuses or the like), matches, lighters, cigarettes or cigars to ignite the fuse may create dangerous situations e.g.:

    • if the fuse is too short, there is not enough time to move the hand before the fireworks explode,
    • if the fireworks are of poor quality, they may explode instantly,
    • if it rains or blows, it could be difficult to ignite the fireworks, and it may seem as if the fuse is not ignited, thus re-ignition is necessary, however, the fuse may be burnt out already, and the fireworks are ready to go off.
    • if the safety fuse is not put out properly, it may ignite other fireworks when thrown into a bag/box of fireworks or injure a person if placed in a pocket.

The aforementioned dangerous situations can cause both hand and/or eye injuries as the persons face and hand is very close to the fireworks when the accident happens. One precaution is to wear safety goggles to protect the eyes and part of the face, however many people do not wear safety goggles because they think the goggles make them look stupid, the goggles become dewy etc.

One way of avoiding injuries to the hands or eyes is to make sure that the person's face and hand are not in immediate vicinity of the fireworks creating a safety zone between the person and the fireworks, which reduces the number of injuries considerably.

Prior art includes several different lighter extension devices, which are meant to ignite e.g. fireplaces, stoves, candles, grills or the like, however, these lighter extension devices could not possibly be used to ignite fireworks from a safe distance.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,099,300 describes an extendable safety lighter, where the lighter consists of an upper part and a casing, and where the upper part can slide out from the casing, thus extending the lighter and provide a flame in an extended position.

The disadvantages of the extendable safety lighter when used to ignite fireworks are that:

    • the extendable safety lighter is a pocket lighter, which does not allow a sufficient safety zone between the person and the fireworks. The maximum length is twice the length of the casing.
    • the extendable safety lighter is a very complex construction comprising a gas chamber, which is connected to the ignition member via a small fuel pipe, making it very costly to produce and the risk of damaging the lighter or failure of the lighter is high.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,257,876 describes a disposable lighter holder, where a lighter is received into a moveable holder, which is mounted on the handle. The lighter is activated by pressing a finger, preferably a thumb, against the bottom of the moveable holder, thus moving the lighter's striking wheel and bring the gas lever in contact with an ignition member of the handle.

The disadvantages of the disposable lighter holder when used to light fireworks are that:

    • it is necessary to use a finger to press on the bottom of the moveable holder to ignite the lighter, hence the disposable lighter does not allow a sufficient safety zone between the person and the fireworks,
    • pressing on the bottom of the moveable holder causes the flame position to change during ignition of the lighter, which can be a disadvantage when trying to lit the fireworks and the risk of pushing over the fireworks increases.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,135,388 describes an extended-handle lighter, where a specially built butane lighter is mounted in a socket at one end part of the elongated handle, and an actuator is mounted at a second end part of the elongated handle. The lighter and the actuator are connected by a linkage, and the lighter is activated by pulling in the actuator, hence the ignition member of the lighter is affected.

The disadvantages of the extended-handle lighter when used to light fireworks are that:

    • the extended-handle lighter is a very complex construction, where the linkage is partly mounted on the outside of the handle, causing the risk of infiltrating e.g. textile or paper into the linkage to increase, hence preventing the linkage to transfer any movement. Furthermore, the complex construction makes it difficult to replace the specially built lighter,
    • the extended-handle lighter actuator is placed at a second end part of the elongated handle, which makes it almost impossible to hold the extended-handle lighter and pull the actuator with one hand,
    • the lighter is a specially built butane lighter, which is costly to replace and time-consuming to refill.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,259,059 describe an extension lighter, where a lighter is placed in a holder, which is integrated with the handle, wherein a plunger is arranged. By pushing the plunger the lighter moves and ignites by pressing the ignition button against an end wall of the handle.

The disadvantages of the extension lighter when used to light fireworks are that:

    • the extension lighter is a two part construction, where the plunger is a loose part when it is not used to activate a lighter, hence the risk of the two part construction being dismantled is high when the extension lighter is not used,
    • pressing on the lighter with the plunger causes the flame position to change during ignition of the lighter, which can be a disadvantage when trying to lit a firework fuse and the risk of pushing over the fireworks increases.
    • the extension lighter can only be used with one lighter type, as the holder is an integrated part of the handle.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,315,731 describes an elongated ignition device, where a lighter is placed in a holder at one end of the elongated ignition device, and at the other end a pistol shaped handle is placed. Ignition of the lighter occurs by sliding an elongated shank, which is connected to the elongated ignition device. At the end of the sliding elongated shank an ignition member is placed, the ignition member being adapted to engage with the lighter flint wheel and gas valve actuator.

The disadvantages of the elongated ignition device when used to ignite fireworks are that:

    • the pistol handle resembles a toy or fun appliance, which does not comply with the safety rules regarding fireworks,
    • the elongated ignition device is a complex construction with a number of springs,
    • the elastic friction member can hinder ignition of a fuse.

Moreover U.S. Pat. No. 4,389,187 disclose an extended holder for a lighter and of the type described by way of introduction. This holder is not suited for use with a variety of different lighters.

OBJECT OF THE INVENTION

The object of the present invention is to provide a lighter extension device, which ensures a sufficient safety zone between a person and the fireworks, the lighter extension device being easy to produce even for use with different lighters and easy to operate.

This can be achieved with a lighter extension device according to the preamble of claim 1, wherein the lighter holder is replaceable and comprises an attachment part and a holder part, where the attachment part is adapted to be arranged at the first end part of the elongated handle and the holder part is adapted to receive the lighter.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The lighter extension device comprises a lighter, which is arranged in a lighter holder at a first end part of an elongated handle, and where the second end part of the elongated handle constitutes the grip.

To activate the lighter the activation means comprise an activator, a connection part and an activation unit, where the connection part is arranged inside the elongated handle and connected at each end of the actuator and the activation unit respectively, and the connection part is adapted to transfer a movement of the activation unit to the activator.

The activator is placed at the lighter holder at the first end part of the elongated handle allowing it to connect with a lighter ignition member, which is placed in the lighter holder.

The activation unit is arranged in an opening of the elongated handle near the second end part of the elongated handle, allowing the user's hand to stay beneath the opening, hence making it possible to activate/move the activation unit with a finger preferably the thumb of the hand gripping the elongated handle, making the device a one-hand operated device.

The opening in the handle is an oblong opening allowing the activation unit to move along the longitudinal direction of the handle, hence the connection part causes the actuator to move in the same direction. Furthermore, the opening allows easy assembly of the connector part and the activation unit.

In order for the device to comply with several different standard lighter types, the lighter must be replaceable. Furthermore, the lighter holder must be securely mounted on the first end part of the handle. Therefore the lighter holder is replaceable and comprises an attachment part and a holder part, where the attachment part is adapted to be arranged onto the first end part of the elongated handle and the holder part is adapted to receive the lighter.

According to one embodiment of the present invention the activation unit is a knob, which preferably is ergonomically formed making it possible to activate the activation unit without using excessive force to ignite the lighter.

Alternatively, the activation unit could be a ring, which partially or fully encircles the handle, which makes it possible to activate the activation unit at any point around the ring.

Preferably, the attachment part and the holder part is produced in one piece, meaning that mounting of the attachment part on the first end part of the elongated handle causes the holder part to be placed in the correct position allowing the activator to easily connect with and press down the lighter ignition member when the activation unit is activated.

According to a preferred embodiment of the present invention the lighter holder is a one-size lighter holder, which can receive a lighter with an ignition member. The lighter holder according to this embodiment has a thickness equal to the width of the handle hence several devices can easily be stacked.

The thin lighter makes the device able to light at least 100 or more times without emptying the lighter gas chamber, which is enough for the most people during a night of fireworks. Should it be necessary to replace the lighter this is easily done.

As the device according to the present invention is perceived as a safety appliance equal to safety goggles, it is necessary to produce the device with a safety feature, which prevents the lighter from being removed from the lighter holder or the lighter from accidentally falling out of the holder.

Furthermore, the invention is children-friendly, as it is very difficult or nearly impossibly for a child to replace the lighter. Thus the elongated handle, which is provided with a safety feature comprising an off-set cut at the first end part of the elongated handle and a complementary recess inside the attachment part of the lighter holder, where the off-set cut and the recess are adapted to releaseably engage.

The recess has a complementary form to the offset cut of the first end part, hence it is possible to mount the lighter holder on to the first end part and maintain it in a locked position, where the activator prevents the lighter from being removed, and to be manipulated the lighter holder into a second open position, where the offset cut and the recess is disengaged, hence is the activator moved to a side allowing replacement of the lighter.

When activating the activation unit the connection part causes the activator to move along with the activation unit. To ensure that the activator presses on the lighter ignition member the activator comprises a flanged part, which is adapted to press on the lighter ignition member.

In a non-active position the flanged part is placed above the lighter ensuring that the lighter does not fall out of the lighter holder during use or transport of the device.

In an active position the flanged part presses down the ignition member, which maintains this position as long as the activation unit is activated, hence maintaining a flame on the lighter.

When the activation unit is deactivated the flanged part of the activator is placed in the non-activated position. If the lighter is provided with an ignition member the flanged part of the activator is typically produced of the same material as the rest of the device or activator e.g. non-combustible plastic.

If the lighter is provided with a conventional flint wheel and a gas lever constitutes the flange member of the activator, preferably being produced of a flexible material, which allows the rotations of the flint wheel to be concurrent with a down force on the gas lever.

To prevent the lighter flame from blowing out due to the wind, the lighter holder is provided with a cover part, which preferably is movable. The cover part shields the lighter flame and allows the person enough space to see the fuse of the fireworks.

Alternatively, the cover part is produced of a transparent material. The cover part is moveably connected to the lighter holder making it possible to move the cover part into a shielding position in case of windy weather conditions or into a holding position when the wind is still. Alternatively, the cover part is replaceable meaning that the cover part is only mounted on the lighter holder during windy weather.

According to a preferred embodiment of the present invention a moveable cover part is connected to the holder part of the lighter holder.

According to one embodiment of the invention the device is provided with a light source and an energy source. The light source can have two functions, either to light the fuse or to indicate that the lighter is ignited.

Typically, fireworks are displayed at night or in the evening, when it is dark outside, which makes it difficult to see the fuse. When using e.g. a pyrolysis lighter, in which case one cannot see the flame, it is nearly impossible to see if the lighter is activated or not, hence the light source can be activated by igniting the lighter. The light source can be a diode or a small bulb.

To produce light the light source must be connected to an energy source, which can be a replaceable battery, a rechargeable battery or a wire connection to an electrical system. The battery solution is preferred to ensure maximum movability of the person using the device.

According to an embodiment of the present invention the device is provided with a number of diodes, where one or more diodes lights on the fuse and one or more indicates that the lighter is ignited and all the diodes are connected to a battery, which is placed in connection with the handle or the lighter holder.

The diodes can be controlled in such a manner that a first activation of the activation unit causes lighting on the fuse area, and a second activation of the activation unit causes the lighter to activate and the diodes to indicate that the lighter is ignited.

The device design according to the present invention allows replacement of the lighter when it is empty and out of gas. To reduce the cost related to replacing the lighter and to ensure high availability of the lighter, the lighter is a standard lighter, which is provided with an ignition member.

The lighter holder form determines which kind of standard lighter fits the present device. Alternatively, a lighter with a conventional flint wheel and a gas lever can be used, as this only requires a slightly different device activator.

To ensure accurate and astute activation of the lighter by the activator when moving the activation unit, the connection part is a rigid member with a number of angle bends. The angle bends are used for connecting the connection part to the activator and the activation unit respectively.

The rigid member is a rod, which fits inside the handle and causes the activator and the activation unit to move together. Alternatively, the rigid member could be a cable, a spring, a chain, a wire, a string or combinations of the aforementioned.

According to the present invention a sufficient safety zone is ensured between the person, who operates the device, and the fireworks e.g. a rocket or a fountain, as the elongated handle has a length of more than 200 mm, preferably a length between 350 mm to 700 mm.

If the length of the elongated handle is below 200 mm, the effect of the safety zone is reduced significantly, and the risk of hand and eye injuries is nearly as high as if matches or ordinary lighters were used.

If the length of the elongated handle is too long, it becomes very difficult to operate the device and lit the fuse due to the device instability and weight.

When the length of the elongated handle is between 350 mm to 700 mm the device is easy to operate, and experience has shown that persons with severe hand injuries rarely receives severer head or body injuries, hence a distance of an arm lengths significantly reduces the injuries related to firework mishaps.

Furthermore, test has shown that people using the device according to the present invention automatically stretch their arm when trying to ignite fireworks, hence causing the flame/fuse position of the device to be approximately two arms length away from the body or head and providing a recommendable safety zone and reducing the risk for hand, head or body injuries significantly.

According to a preferred embodiment of the present invention, all the device parts are produced of non-combustible plastic or plastic, which burns very slowly. Alternatively, one or more device parts can be produced of another material e.g. metal, ceramic and wood or the like. These materials are either non-combustible or surface-treated with some kind of fire protection layer.

The device or the device parts can be of any colour, which makes it possible to distinguish several devices from each other in case an entire group of people are using the device for igniting fireworks at the same time.

According to the present invention the intention is to use the device as described in the aforementioned when igniting fireworks. However, the present invention can also be used to ignite e.g. gas appliances, fireplaces, candles e.g. placed at a high position on a wall or on a large Christmas trees, stoves, grills and the like.

SHORT DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention is described in more detail below with reference to the accompanying drawing in which:

FIG. 1 shows an assembled device according to the present invention,

FIG. 2 shows a dismantled device according to the present invention,

FIG. 3 shows a detailed view of the top part of the device, and

FIG. 4 shows a detailed view of the bottom part of the device.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 shows a device 1 comprising a lighter holder 2, which is mounted on the first end part 5A of the handle 5, and a activation unit 6 in form of a knob, which is arranged in an opening (not shown) on the handle near the second end part 5B of the handle 5, allowing a hand (not shown) to grip the handle 5 beneath the knob 6. The actuator 7 is arranged at the first end part 5A in connection with the attachment part 3 of the lighter holder 2, so that a part of the actuator 7 is reaches across the holder part 4 of the lighter holder 2 allowing the actuator 7 to connect with the lighter ignition member 14 and then prevent the lighter 15 from being removed from the lighter holder 2 during use.

FIG. 2 shows the device 1 dismantled into the following parts:

    • the handle 5 with a first end part 5A, a second end part 5B and an oblong opening 10
    • the lighter holder 2, which comprises a holder part 4 and an attachment part 3,
    • the activations means 8, which comprise an activator 7, a connection part 9 and an activation unit 6, and
    • the lighter 15 with an initiation member 14.

FIG. 3 shows a detailed view of the top part of the device 1, where it is possible to see the off-set cut 11 at the first end part 5A of the handle 5. The off-set cut 11 is adapted to engage with a complementary recess inside the attachment part 3 of the lighter holder 2, when the lighter holder 2 is arranged at the first end part 5A of the handle 5. The connection part 9 has an angle bend 12, which allows the connection part 9 to be securely connected into the recess 13 in the actuator 7.

FIG. 4 shows a detailed view of the bottom part of the device 1, where it is possible to see that the connection part 9 has an angle bend 12, which allows the connection part 9 to be securely connected to the activation unit 6. When the connection part 9 is arranged inside the handle 5 the angle bend 12 protrudes through the opening 10 in the handle, and it is possible to attach the activation unit 6 at the angle bend 12. The opening 10 is oblong allowing the angle bend 12/activation unit 6 to be moved along the longitudinal direction of the handle 5. Alternatively, the activation unit 6 could be formed with gripping means (not shown), gripping either the connection part 9 or the handle 5 and still be positioned in the oblong opening 10.