FIREFIGHTERS across Worcestershire are reminding parents and anyone looking after children to keep their youngsters safe on Halloween.
Wearing ‘fire-safer’ costumes and avoiding candles and naked flames are all good measures to avoid requiring the emergency services on Tuesday (October 31).
The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) supports the British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) more stringent flammability tests and labelling for children’s costumes.
They are backed by many reputable UK high street retailers and costume manufacturers.
Emma Roberts, HWFRS Head of Prevention, said: “Any shop-bought costume should include a label showing that it meets the standard EN71-2 for flammability resistance requirements for toys.
“Candles should only be used if they are static and out of reach of children, certainly not at ground level.
“But preferably don’t use candles with naked flames at all. Swap them instead for LED lights.
“We want this Halloween to be a fun evening for people of all ages. Suitable costumes and avoiding candles and flame torches will help ensure this.”
Follow these tips for a safe Halloween:
- Only buy fancy dress costumes from a reputable retailer – cheap or imported costumes may not meet UK safety standards and at worst may carry fake safety labelling, look for labels which indicate the costume has undergone the BRC’s additional tests. It should say: ‘Keep away from candles and lit flames’ or similar wording, as well as ‘This garment has undergone additional safety testing for flammability’, which is reassurance the costume is safer than legally required under EN71-2
- Always check the label – clothing will always burn if in contact with naked flames but some much faster than others keep other flammable items out of children’s reach and make sure they know what to do if something catches alight.
- Layer up – wear clothes under fancy dress to give a layer of protection between the costume and your skin which can help protect in the event of a fire incident
- Make sure your children know what to do if their clothes catch fire – ensure they understand to stop and not to try and run, drop and cover their face with their hands and roll a few times to put out the flames.
See The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and BRC websites for guidance at www.rospa.com/home-safety/Advice/Product/halloween-costumes and https://brc.org.uk/news/buying/the-flammability-safety-of-children-s-disguise-costume-code-of-practice/.