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Fire safety warning on Halloween costumes

Fire safety warning on Halloween costumes

Published by Emma Carton at 3:37pm 31st October 2019. (Updated at 3:42pm 31st October 2019)

South-west firefighters have shared a warning video about the dangers of open flames and Halloween costumes.

The footage, shared by Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue, shows just how fats some can go up in flames.

Devon and Cornwall Police have retweeted the post, as part of their Trick or Treat safety campaign.

Scroll down to read more advice, including the 'Stop, Drop and Roll' approach, or watch the video below...

What is the safety advice on Halloween costumes?

Both Cornwall and Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service have the following top tips:

  • Keep away from naked flames - avoid using a naked flame or candle in pumpkins; use a torch, glow stick or battery operated candle
  • If your clothing does catch on fire then ‘Stop, Drop and Roll’ this is a way to try to extinguish the flames and also to stop the flames from rising towards the face.
  • Choose a costume and mask that doesn’t restrict your child’s vision.
  • Wear woollen tights or ‘heavy’ trousers (jeans) and a woollen jumper under the costume.
  • Avoid capes, trains, and dangling sleeves. These can drag and brush against a naked flame such as a candle and also pose the risk of a tripping hazard.
  • Look out for costumes that meet European Toy (EN71), and British nightwear flammability (BS5722 test 3) safety standard - the toughest standard that currently exists.
  • Use caution when creating homemade costumes. Stick with polyester, nylon, wool, and acrylic fabrics and make sure the costumes are not loose-fitting.
  • Don’t use materials made of natural fibres, for example, cotton wool balls.
  • Don’t use refuse sacks/bin liners as capes or dresses.
  • Opt for battery-operated candles instead of lit ones for pumpkins.

You can read more advice here.

What is the Trick or Treat safety advice from police?

  • Adults: always accompany your children when they are trick-or-treating.
  • Go to the houses of people you know or who you are sure are happy for you to call.
  • Keep to places that you know and are well lit. Do not take short cuts through gardens, alleyways or parks.
  • Watch out for traffic - drivers might not see you.
  • If you are wearing a mask make sure that you can see where you are going and are aware of your surroundings.
  • Carry a torch and a fully charged mobile phone (if you have one).
  • Be careful of lantern flames igniting costumes. Ideally, use battery powered LED candles.

“In recent years we’ve seen an increase in the number of people participating in Halloween fun.

“We ask everyone who’s going trick-or-treating to think about other people, particularly the elderly and vulnerable, as they may get worried or even frightened if strangers are continually calling at their door during the evening. 

“We ask people not to call at homes displaying the ‘Sorry, no trick or treat’ poster and not to be persistent if your requests are declined".

Superintendent Jacqueline Hawley, Devon and Cornwall Police

You can read more about the police Trick or Treat safety campaign here.

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