Next week sees Halloween take place and as the day draws nearer, Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service (DFRS) is once again reminding parents of the dangers associated with flammable fancy dress costumes and the additional risks presented by an increased use of candles during Halloween celebrations.
Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service Group Manager Steve Ratcliffe said: “I’m sure many children will have already chosen their spooky costumes, but I’d like to ask parents to exercise caution when buying fancy dress costumes and to check the labelling to ensure they comply with fire safety regulations.
“I’d advise that children wearing costumes are kept well away from any naked flames, whether from a tea light in a pumpkin, or a gas, electric or open fire. I would also recommend using electric tea lights as a safe alternative to traditional tea lights to minimise the risk of fire. If the worse does happen and clothing catches fire, STOP, DROP and ROLL should be adopted to smother and put out the flames.”
In 2014 TV presenter Claudia Winkleman experienced every parent’s nightmare when a fun evening of Halloween games turned into a terrifying situation; Claudia’s eight year old daughter Matilda brushed past a carved pumpkin, lit by a tea light, and in a matter of seconds her Halloween costume had gone up in flames.
With Halloween events and pumpkin carving becoming more popular each year and additional candles being used to add drama to spooky settings, the fire service recommend that people follow these simple safety precautions:
Tips to keep safe during Halloween
- Keep children/fancy dress costumes away from naked flames – tea lights in pumpkins, electric, gas and open fires. Long hair and clothing, especially fancy dress costumes are very flammable.
- Use electric tea lights/candles as a safe alternative to traditional tea lights/candles.
- Do not leave tea lights/candles unattended.
- Keep candles and tea lights out of reach of children and animals.
- Children should be supervised at all times near flames.
- Keep tea lights/candles a safe distance from curtains, furniture and decorations at all times.