Keep treat-or-treaters away from candles, say Herts firefighters after Stevenage tests

Halloween costumes on fire.

Halloween costumes on fire. - Credit: Archant

With Hallowe’en just around the corner, firefighters are urging parents to make sure their trick-or-treaters stay safe.

A selection of fancy dress costumes were put to the test at Longfield Training Centre in Stevenage, with tealights brushed past the costumes’ hems to test flammability.

Some of the outfits burned within 40 seconds and melted off their hangers into clumps on the floor, despite having CE marks indicating that they met EU regulations on flammability.

The tests were carried out after awareness of costumes’ potential flammability was raised last year when a witch outfit worn by TV presenter Claudia Winkleman’s eight-year-old daughter Matilda caught fire, causing serious burns.

Councillor Richard Thake, cabinet member for community safety at Herts County Council, said: “This is a serious issue about keeping these costumes away from sources of ignition and naked flames. We haven’t had local incidences of this; however, we don’t want this year to be the first.”

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