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Children’s Halloween Costumes Can ‘Catch Fire in Seconds’

Children’s Halloween Costumes Can ‘Catch Fire in Seconds’

Campaigners are calling for tougher safety laws on children’s Halloween costumes – after an investigation revealed some take just seconds to catch fire.

Industry-standard tests carried out by Good Housekeeping on six costumes from high street chains resulted in one catching fire in less than seconds. 

Fancy dress outfits are classed as toys and so are not subject to the same fire safety criteria as regular clothing.

The investigation was part of Good Housekeeping’s campaign to have the laws changed and make retailers take more responsibility.

The costumes were sent to a specialist flammability testing facility and their safety measured using the BS5722 standard used for nightwear in the UK.

Results showed how quickly items catch fire, how long they burn for and how high the flames were.

Good Housekeeping’s Joanne Finney told the Daily Mirror: “Regulations urgently need to be tightened up.

“While testing to nightwear standards would be a start, we would like costumes to have their own regulations, with strict standards around flammability.”

The campaign was launched in 2014 after television presenter Claudia Winkleman’s daughter suffered severe burns when the Halloween outfit she was wearing brushed against a candle and caught fire.

In 2015, the Government ordered trading standards officers to perform spot checks on fancy dress items in the run-up to Halloween.

This year, the British Retail Consortium brought in its own voluntary test for fancy dress.

To read the results of the investigation in full go to

Poundland is currently recalling a range of potentially flammable Halloween wigs. The affected wigs have been on sale at Poundland stores, Poundland Online and Dealz stores since August 2016.

The chain is asking customers to return the wigs as a precaution.

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