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Don’t let your Halloween get too scary

We are asking everyone dressing up in spooky gear this Halloween to be aware of the issue surrounding fire safety of fancy dress costumes. Many adults and children are injured in accidents where lighted candles or fireworks have ignited flammable costumes and hair.

Please, ensure children are well supervised at all times, especially if they are around fireworks, sparklers or open flames such as pumpkins with candles. 

Our top tips for Halloween dressing:

  • Keep away from naked flames - avoid using a naked flame or candle in pumpkins; use a torch, glow stick or battery operated candle
  • If your clothing does catch on fire then ‘Stop, Drop and Roll’ this is a way to try to extinguish the flames and also to stop the flames from rising towards the face.
  • Choose a costume and mask that doesn’t restrict your child’s vision.
  • Wear woollen tights or ‘heavy’ trousers (jeans) and a woollen jumper under the costume.
  • Avoid capes, trains, and dangling sleeves. These can drag and brush against a naked flame such as a candle and also pose the risk of a tripping hazard.
  • Look out for costumes that meet European Toy (EN71), and British nightwear flammability (BS5722 test 3) safety standard - the toughest standard that currently exists.
  • Use caution when creating homemade costumes. Stick with polyester, nylon, wool, and acrylic fabrics and make sure the costumes are not loose-fitting.
  • Don’t use materials made of natural fibres, for example, cotton wool balls.
  • Don’t use refuse sacks/bin liners as capes or dresses.
  • Use battery-operated candles instead of lit ones for pumpkins.


Our top tips for candle safety:

  • Never leave candles or lit pumpkins unattended in your home or near a walking path. See  
  • Make sure candles are secured in a fire resistant holder and away from furniture and curtains.
  • Always leave at least 10cm between burning candles/tea lights and never place them under shelves or other enclosed spaces.
  • Put candles out when you leave the room and make sure they’re put out completely before you go to bed.
  • Never burn a candle right down into the holder.
  • Use a snuffer or a spoon to put out candles. It’s safer than blowing them out when sparks can fly.
  • You increase the risk of fire or injury if you move a candle while it is lit.
  • Always put candles/tea lights out and leave to cool down before you try to move them.
  • Keep candles, matches and lighters away from children and pets.

Please visit our pages for candle fire safety and our candle safety leaflet (PDF).


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