Does your child's Halloween costume meet fire-safety standards? It's definitely worth checking, say experts at RoSPA (the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) who are concerned that some children's costumes have already been recalled by the Office for Product Safety and Standards after failing fire-safety tests.


How to check your child's Halloween costume is safe

In these cost-conscious times, we're all looking for bargain buys but it's best to be cautious if the Halloween costume you've found is super-cheap. It may be absolutely fine, of course, but chances are, the more cheaply made a costume is, the more likely it is not to meet UK fire-safety standards – and therefore potentially catch fire mere seconds after exposure to a naked flame, as happened to Claudia Winkleman's daughter's shop-bought fancy-dress costume back in 2014.

So, before you buy your child's costume, always:

  • Look for the UKCA or CE mark, if you're in England, Scotland or Wales; if you're in North Ireland, look for the UKNI symbol along with the UKCA or CE mark.
  • Look for the En71-2 mark. All costumes, including wigs and masks, should also be flame-retardant in accordance with EN71-2 (the safety standard for flammability of toys).
  • Look for labelling that indicates the costume's undergone additional British Retail Consortium (BRC) checks. This will mean the costume is likely to have been made to a higher standard of fire safety. The label will say something like, "This garment has undergone additional safety testing for flammability." Stores such as Aldi, ASDA, Boots, John Lewis, Morrisons, Next, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Co-Op, Disney Store and Waitrose adhere to BRC's code of practice.
  • Beware of unknown brands if you're buying a costume online. They may not meet the fire and chemical regulations around costume safety.

Other fire-safety tips to keep in mind at Halloween

  • Keep any child in a Halloween costume away from fires, lit candles and other naked flames
  • Use battery-operated lights in your pumpkins rather than tea lights, if you can.
  • Make sure your child is wearing clothes underneath their costume: this layer between the costume and their skin can help protect their skin in the event of a fire.

Pic: Getty Images

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