Hard-hitting video footage shows how quickly a child’s Halloween costume can go up in flames.
Firefighters set alight to several seemingly harmless fun outfits to hammer home their safety message.
Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service chief fire officer, Paul Fuller, said: “We don’t want to stop children enjoying themselves, but I am asking parents take extra care to make sure Halloween is safe as well as fun.”
In a controlled environment, firefighters set alight to a black dress, fairy wings and a cape. In all cases it took just seconds for the flames to take hold and engulf the costumes.
People are being urged to use battery operated ‘candles’ in pumpkins this weekend, to check what fire safety standards costumes have been tested against and to keep in mind the ‘stop, drop and roll’ method to put out flames.
A spokesman for Central beds Council said: “Although costumes are classified as toys, many retailers now test their costumes against more stringent standards which nightwear has too meet.”
The following safety advice has been issued:
>When choosing or making a costume, avoid billowing or long trailing fabric and make sure it is flame retardant.
>Keep an eye on children at all times when around lit candles.
>Teach children how to stop, drop and roll if their clothing catches fire.
>Avoid Plastic capes and using bin liners as costumes.
>Keep flowing items like fake hair and capes away from candle and other flames.
>If your child is wearing a mask, make sure the eye holes are large enough so they can see clearly.
>Give children torches to light their way instead of candles.
>Place candles, pumpkins or any flame out of way of trick-or-treaters, doorways and paths.
>Dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations well away from all open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.
>Use a torch or battery candles in pumpkins rather than candles.
>Use extra long matches or a utility lighter to light candles inside pumpkins and place them well away from anything that can burn.
>Keep exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes.
>Use flashlights instead of garden candles and lanterns for decorating your house and paths.
>Keep pets safely away from any lit flames.
>If your children are going to a friend’s house for a party make a game out of spotting ways out of the home and plan how they would get out in an emergency.
For more tips about celebrating Halloween safely visit www.bedsfire.com/CommunitySafety