Zippo Lighters are a popular brand of collectible, stainless steel lighters that are designed to flip open and stay lit for a long period of time until you close the cap, snuffing out the flame. They are usually seen with John McClane whenever he lights his cigarettes. The lighters have since become one of the character's trademarks, and were featured in one of the franchise's most famous moments, when John was in the air vent. They appear in the first two films.
John McClane is seen with his own Zippo at the start of the film when he lights two cigarettes before arriving at Nakatomi Plaza; one in LAX International Airport (back when it was legal) and one in Argyle's Limo. The lighter was not seen again until McClane broke Tony's neck, confiscating a Zippo off his body. He would later use Tony's lighter to see in the dark ventilation shafts, remarking sarcastically, "Come out to the coast! We'll get together, have a few laughs!", before closing the lighter. Karl sees the light and nearly kills John by shooting through the vent.
Over the course of the rest of the film, John would be seen lighting his cigarettes with a Zippo, particularly while taking a rest on the 32nd floor.
A Zippo was briefly seen in the opening scene when John was sitting in the Washington Dulles International Airport's lounge, where he used one to light a cigarette, as well as others throughout the film. John would later use his Zippo to light two improvised torches in a desperate attempt to guide Windsor 114 to a safe landing. Finally, at the end of the film, John uses the Zippo to light a trail of fuel left by the terrorists escape plane. The plane explodes and the fire trail left behind allows the rest of the planes to see the runway and safely land. McClane's Zippo was probably destroyed when used to light the trail of fuel.