Keep safe in Verwood this Halloween

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is warning people to not let Halloween become scary for all the wrong reasons.

Whilst this year’s Halloween celebrations will look a little different due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the fire risks remain the same.

Every year on 31 October, children and adults are injured in accidents where candles or fireworks have set fire to costumes and hair. Plastic capes and bin liners, often used as costumes, are also fire risks.

Children’s fancy dress costumes are often classified as toys and are therefore not required to be fire proofed or fire retardant. This makes children especially vulnerable in circumstances where they are playing without adult supervision. RoSPA have been working with the British Retail Consortium and its members to develop a testing standard for the flammability of children’s dress-up costumes which goes beyond the legal level.

Prevention Delivery manager Ian Hopkins said: “Toy dress-up clothing can burn rapidly when it comes into contact with an open flame, such as a candle or open fire. This can cause serious injury, burns, and potentially death.

“We don’t want to stop people enjoying Halloween, but we want to help them celebrate safely. There is nothing more terrifying than having a fire at home or seeing your clothes catch fire.”

The following top tips will help you reduce your fire risk this Halloween:

  • Check that all Halloween and fancy-dress costumes you buy carry a CE mark on the label
  • As with all clothing, Halloween and fancy-dress outfits should always be kept away from fire, lit candles and all other naked flames
  • Always supervise children and pets if using lit candles
  • Do not allow children to carry, play, reach over, light or be near lit candles
  • Never leave a burning candle unattended
  • Remember always to extinguish a candle completely after use
  • Ensure children can be seen in the dark; ideally they should wear something reflective such as a reflective strip and carry a torch
  • Teach your child to STOP, DROP and ROLL in the event that their clothing does catch fire
  • In an emergency, cool any burns with large amounts of water and get urgent medical assistance
  • If you must use candles, make sure they are securely placed in a correct holder and in a place where they are not likely to be knocked over. Keep them away from curtains, cushions, and draughts
  • If you are using decorative lights in your home, ensure that electricity sockets are not overloaded and that they’re switched off at the socket at night

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