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Strike-on-box matches are safer than strike-anywhere matches because the matches themselves don't contain all the chemicals needed to get them to light. The key trigger, red phosphorus, is contained in the striking surface on the outside of the box. This also means that you know this surface must contain red phosphorus, unlike the striking surface on a box of strike-anywhere matches, which is just sandpaper.
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 8 February, 2008
Text Updated: 8 February, 2009