Oxfordshire County Council issue Halloween fire safety warning

Children's Halloween costumes being tested for fire safety PNL-151028-113623001
Children's Halloween costumes being tested for fire safety PNL-151028-113623001

Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service and Trading Standards team is urging people to be extra cautious when buying children’s fancy dress Halloween costumes to reduce fire risks caused by naked flames.

Oxfordshire County Council’s Trading Standards team and Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue are advising people to check that any Halloween costumes they buy comply with fire safety regulations by checking the garment’s label has a ‘CE’ mark before purchasing.

They are also encouraging people to consider alternatives to candles in pumpkins such as LED lights to avoid costumes coming into contact with a naked flame.

Trading Standards Operation Manager at Oxfordshire County Council, Jody Kerman said: “We don’t want to stop people enjoying Halloween, but we do want them to celebrate safely and be aware of ways to reduce the fire risks. Before buying a children’s fancy dress costume, check that it includes the CE mark.

“We would also urge people to swap naked flame candles for battery powered LED equivalents in pumpkin lanterns and other decorations, to reduce the risk that costumes could accidentally catch fire which could result in burns, which can last a lifetime.”

Councillor Rodney Rose, Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for Fire and Rescue and Trading Standards, said: “We want everyone to have a happy Halloween but we also need to remember the safety hazards that the increased use of candles around this season can cause.

“Protecting children is vitally important so I urge everyone to check costumes for the CE label before buying them and avoid using real candles by using LED candles instead.”

Quick and calm action could help to save a child’s life if their costume catches fire and the mantra to remember from Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service is STOP, DROP and ROLL.

In the event of a fire

• STOP the child from moving as moving around creates air and increases the fire.

• Heat rises so DROP the child to the floor and lay down flat to prevent flames from reaching their face.

• ROLL the child over and over and back and forth until the flames are out.

For more information visit www.365alive.co.uk.