Parents and guardians are being reminded by Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service to ensure their children's safety this Halloween. The service emphasises the importance of wearing 'fire-safer' costumes and avoiding candles and naked flames to prevent emergencies on 31 October.
The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) is endorsing the British Retail Consortium's (BRC) tighter flammability tests and labelling standards for children’s costumes. These guidelines are supported by numerous reputable UK high street retailers and costume makers.
Emma Roberts, Head of Prevention at HWFRS, stated: "Any shop-bought costume should include a label showing that it meets the standard EN71-2 for flammability resistance requirements for toys." She also advised that candles should be static and kept out of children's reach. "But preferably don't use candles with naked flames at all. Swap them instead for LED lights," she added. She concluded by saying, "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."
Here are some safety tips for a secure Halloween:
- Purchase fancy dress costumes only from reputable retailers. Cheap or imported costumes may not meet UK safety standards and might even have fake safety labels.
- Look for labels that indicate additional BRC testing. Labels should include warnings like 'Keep away from candles and lit flames' as well as statements like 'This garment has undergone additional safety testing for flammability'.
- Always check the label as some materials burn much faster than others.
- Keep flammable items away from children and educate them on fire safety measures.
- Layer clothing under costumes to provide an extra layer of protection against fire incidents.
- Teach children what to do if their clothes catch fire: stop, drop, cover their face with their hands, and roll to put out the flames.