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Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Lighters and Matches

Traveling with Special Items


As of August 4, 2007, in an effort to concentrate resources on detecting explosive threats, TSA will no longer ban common lighters in carry-on luggage. Torch lighters remain banned in carry-ons.

Lifting the lighter ban is consistent with TSA's risk-based approach to aviation security. First and foremost, lighters no longer pose a significant threat. Freeing security officers up from fishing for 22,000 lighters every day (the current number surrendered daily across the country) enables them to focus more on finding explosives, using behavior recognition, conducting random screening procedures and other measures that increase complexity in the system, deterring terrorists. The U.S. is the only country in the world to ban lighters – all other nations, including Israel and the U.K., do not.


You may not bring matches in your checked baggage because of safety regulations.  You may, however, bring one book of safety (non-strike anywhere) matches in your carry-on baggage or on your person.

For safety reasons, you may not bring "strike anywhere" matches at all.

Latest revision: 24 January 2013