As Halloween approaches, firefighters are reminding parents to protect their children from flammable fancy dress costumes.
Following on the launch of Operation BANG and North Wales Police’s appeal for people to think differently about the way they mark Halloween this year, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service is issuing advice on being aware of dangers and staying safe from fire.
Paul Scott, Senior Fire Safety Manager, said: “We want people to enjoy celebrating Halloween, but we also want to make sure that they are aware of the potential dangers that can be faced if their costume catches fire.
“The popularity of Halloween fancy dress costumes for children has grown enormously in recent years and we issue this advice to warn people so that they can enjoy themselves while staying safe.”
Here are Paul’s safety tips –
- Check the labels on any fancy dress outfits you buy and see what fire resistance they offer. Children’s Halloween costumes and other seasonal or themed costumes are currently classified as toys. You should check they are CE marked to ensure they meet the required safety standards. All garments have a risk of being flammable - it’s important to keep them away from naked flames.
- Plastic capes and bin liners are often used as costumes - keep them away from sparklers, candles or other naked flames.
- Use battery operated lights within homemade lanterns and pumpkins. These are much safer than candles and are cheap to buy.
- Take extra care with candles - they are extremely hazardous. If the candle tips over it could set light to materials such as costumes, curtains, clothes and furniture and start a serious fire.
- If a costume you are wearing does catch fire the advice is to 'stop, drop and roll', making it harder for the flames to spread.
- If you are with someone whose clothes have caught fire, get them to stop, drop and roll, then smother the flame with heavy material like a coat or blanket.
- In an emergency cool any burns with large amounts of water and get urgent medical assistance.