With Halloween season just around the corner, Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue and Lincolnshire Trading Standards have teamed up to warn parents about the safety of children’s fancy dress costumes.
Testing a selection of witches costumes from a range of stores across the county, the results were from one extreme to another: one completely disintegrated, one was engulfed in flames, one’s fabric melted back and one didn’t catch fire.
The risks were made all too clear after TV presenter Claudia Winkleman’s daughter was severely burned after her outfit caught fire last year.
Steve Screaton, deputy community safety manager at Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, commented: “Fancy-dress costumes often have trailing adornments such as capes, wings and tassels, which can catch fire if they come too close to a flame.
“Please supervise your children at all times and keep them away from lanterns, candles and tea-lights in pumpkins. If possible, try and use a torch or an LED light in your pumpkins.
“We don’t want to stop people enjoying Halloween, but we do want them to celebrate safely. There is nothing more terrifying than having a fire at home or seeing your clothes catch fire.”
Alexandra Connell, senior trading standards officer at Lincolnshire County Council, added: “Many parents aren’t aware that fancy dress costumes are classed as toys, which means that they can be tested to a lower flammability standard than other types of children’s clothing such as nightwear.
“Make sure they avoid flames, particularly when they are wearing their fancy dress costume, and know what to do should anything happen. Remember, Stop, drop and roll.”