Firefighters issue safety advice ahead of Halloween

Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) is encouraging parents and carers to ensure their children celebrate Halloween safely this year by taking care with fancy dress.

Firefighters are reminding parents to check any costumes they buy comply with safety regulations.

Children’s costumes have to meet a safety standard that states that if they catch fire, the flames must not spread faster than 30mm per second.

This is to ensure there is time to remove the costume or extinguish the flames before a child is seriously injured.

AF&RS Group Manager for Risk Reduction, Matt Peskett, said: “We don’t want to spoil people’s fun at this time of the year but we would ask families to make sure they keep children well away from naked flames.

“Instead of using candles to decorate a pumpkin you could opt for the battery powered LED tea lights with appropriate safety markings. These are much safer and reduce the risk of burns and other injuries which can last a lifetime.” 

Trading standards also recommends that families only buy costumes from reputable retailers and ensure that they carry the CE safety mark and instructions.

GM Peskett added: “Burns and scalds can last a lifetime so if your child’s clothing does catch fire, remember to get them to stop, drop to the floor and roll around. This will extinguish the fire by depriving it of oxygen.”

Safety advice:

·         Keep all costumes away from naked flames. Use LED candles in pumpkins and other decorations as these are much safer.

·         Buy costumes from reputable sources.

·         Check the label or packaging contains the manufacturer’s name, address, postcode or phone number and a registered trademark.

·         Ensure the product is accompanied by instructions and safety information.

·         Remember, cheaper products are more likely to be counterfeit and could burn quickly if they catch fire.

·         Burns and scalds last a lifetime. Remember, if clothing does catch fire, stop, drop and roll to deprive the fire of oxygen.

Anyone who thinks they might have bought an unsafe children’s costume or sees any cheap branded or suspected counterfeit costumes for sale, can call Trading Standards on 03454 04 05 06.