Many costumes are classed as toys, which means that they are not subject to the same fire safety checks as everyday clothing

31 October 2022

Fire chiefs in the North East are warning parents about using candles this Halloween as costumes can go up in flames in a matter of seconds.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service  is urging parents to take extra measures to keep their family safe when trick or treating tonight Monday 31 October.

They are asking families to use electric candles instead of naked flames as many high street costumes are highly flammable.

Station manager Jonathan Ramanayake, of the prevention and education department at TWFRS, said: "We don't want to put a downer on those plans but we do want to make sure that children and adults alike can enjoy it as safely as possible.”

"The big tip we have is to use LED candles wherever possible. Naked flames can be dangerous at the best of times but they can be a real hazard in the excitement of Halloween."

Mr Ramanayake added: "Halloween costumes do undergo fire safety tests and we work with retailers to ensure they're as safe as possible.  Labelling is also clearer than ever before.”

But at the end of the day, many costumes are actually classed as toys and so do not have to meet the same fire safety requirements as clothing.”

"The materials can be flammable and there have been examples across the country of children being severely burned when costumes have caught fire.”

He added: "We are not suggesting children can’t wear a costume, but just avoid exposing them to a flame and use electric candles wherever possible to safeguard your family."

Parents are advised that, if the worst does happen and a costume catches fire, a child should "stop, drop and roll" until the flames are out.