With Hallowe’en parties and trick or treating just around the corner, Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service is reminding parents to be aware of potentially flammable fancy-dress costumes.
Hallowe’en costumes are classed as toys and are not tested in the same way as normal clothes. Many of the costumes have been found to ignite and burn at a rapid pace, posing a serious fire risk to children.
Firefighters across the country are encouraging parents to check their children’s fancy-dress costumes and look out for the manufacturer’s name, address and telephone number and a registered trademark.
Hallowe’en costumes should be purchased from a reputable seller and should be accompanied by instructions and safety information.
Anyone wearing a costume should keep away from naked flames and parents are encouraged to use LED candles in pumpkins and other decorations to reduce risk.
Coun Dave Ledger, deputy leader of Northumberland County Council with responsibility for the fire and rescue service, said: “Hallowe’en costumes are often made of flammable materials which could cause life-changing injuries if they are caught with a naked flame.
“Parents must be cautious when buying fancy-dress costumes and remember that cheaper products are more likely to be counterfeit and could burn quickly if they catch fire.
“We’re also urging parents to swap dangerous naked flames in decorations and lanterns for battery operated lights which are much safer.”
If clothing catches fire, remember to STOP, DROP and ROLL:
l Stop where you are and do not run
l Drop to the ground and lay flat with your legs out straight
l Cover your eyes and mouth with your hands
l Roll over and back and forth until the flames are out
l Get help straight away