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Fire and Rescue Service advice for safe Halloween celebrations

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Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service warns parents to keep their children safe on Halloween by wearing 'fire-safer' costumes and avoiding candles and naked flames.

Halloween homepage header imageArea Commander Mark Preece said: "Any shop-bought costumes should include a label showing that it meets the standard EN71-2 for flammability resistance requirements for toys.

"Candles should only be used if they are static and out of reach of children – certainly not at ground level. But preferably don't use candles with naked flames at all – swap them instead for LED lights.

"We want this Halloween to be a fun evening for people of all ages, and suitable costumes and avoiding candles and flame torches will help ensure this."

The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) supports the British Retail Consortium's (BRC) more stringent flammability tests and labelling for children's costumes which were introduced in 2017, and which are supported by many reputable UK high street retailers and costume manufacturers.However, the NFCC also hopes that the regulations will be reviewed so the same standards are applied to fancy dress costumes as currently apply to children's nightwear.

NFCC's tips for a safer Halloween:

  • look for a CE Mark which means it complies with EN71-2. This means it has met with the European flammability resistant requirements for toys (which fancy dress is classed as)
  • look for labels which indicate the costume has undergone BRC's additional tests. It will say: 'This garment has undergone additional safety testing for flammability', which is reassurance the costume is safer than legally required under EN71
  • buy from a reputable retailercheap or imported costumes may not meet UK safety standards and at worst may carry fake safety labelling
  • layer up – wear clothes under fancy dress to give a layer of protection between the costume and your skin which can help protect in the event of a fire incident
  • 'Stop, Drop and Roll' – ahead of Halloween and Bonfire Night, make sure your children know what to do if their clothes catch fire, make sure they understand to STOP and not to try and run; DROP and cover face with hands; and ROLL a few times to put out the flames.

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