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Halloween clothes warning from Fire Service as nine out of twelve costumes found to be unsafe
Tuesday 25th October 2016 @ 14:22 by Nigel P.

Halloween costumes  could become frightening in more ways than one, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service  warn, as they pose a serious risk of catching fire if exposed to naked flames, however briefly.

This is despite a plea from the Chief Fire Officers Ascossiation to persuade the government to get the costumes often aimed at children, to be re-designated  as clothes rather than toys.

Because the costumes are currently classified as toys they are not tested to the same strict fire safety standards as night wear – and the Fire Service is now calling on parents and carers to lobby politicians to bring the costumes under the same standards.

They are also asking parents and carers to take extra care when the costumes are around naked flames such as candles or lantern jacks over the Halloween celebrations.

The GMFRS conducted a flammability test on 12 of this year’s Hallowe’en costumes from leading retail outlets.

A firefighter used a standard household lighter to start the test and out of 12 costumes, Shockingkly nine were engulfed with flames within seconds.

The test comes a year after the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) launched its campaign to change the safety standards of children’s fancy dress costumes.

GMFRS would prefer parents to use battery powered tea lights instead of candles in their pumpkin lanterns this Halloween.

If a costume does catch alight fire-fighters advise  stop, drop and roll.


Chair of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, Councillor David Acton, said: “We understand that children want to get dressed up and have fun at Halloween.

“The best way to keep your children safe while they’re wearing these costumes is to keep them away from naked flames.

“Often these costumes are made from synthetic fabrics, which catch light easily and then melt causing life changing burns.

“Despite CFOA’s campaign last year our test shows that these costumes still catch fire too easily. If these costumes were subject to the same fire safety standards as night wear children would be safer.”

In past years several children have been burnt and injured by costumes that have caught fire, including the daughter of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ presenter, Claudia Winkleman.