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Be aware of the dangers of fancy dress

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A press release from Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service

Ahead of National Burns Awareness Day on 19 October the Chief Fire Officer’s Association and Children’s Burns Trust is working with the British Standards Institution (BSI) to address the flammability of Halloween and children’s fancy dress costumes.

Paul Fuller, Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Chief Fire Officer who is also a trustee of the Children’s Burns Trust, said: “This is a very important step and we are delighted to be working with BSI to update the relevant European standard (EN 71-2) as soon as possible.  At the moment these costumes are classed as toys and therefore, are not subject to the same requirements as children’s clothing.

“Children need to be aware of the risks of being burnt. They are increasingly wearing fancy dress costumes, including masks and headdresses, not only at times like Halloween but also throughout the year as they dress up as film characters and superheroes. It’s not uncommon for them to wear these costumes to bed as well and this is increasing the chance of a terrible accident.  Candles are becoming more and more popular and the mix of naked flames and fancy dress costumes can be a deadly combination.”

A young child’s skin is 15 times thinner than an adult’s and they don’t know they should pull away from heat, and a burn or scald at this age could need years of repeated surgery as the child grows, because scarred tissue does not grow with them.

“We need to make sure that we protect children from this painful life,” added Chief Fire Officer Paul Fuller, “and to do this, we need to recognise the potential dangers.  Please use LED candles and tea lights as a safe alternative in your home and in your pumpkins at Halloween.”

For more information about National Burns Awareness Day visit

There is advice about fire safety at Halloween, bonfire night and Diwali on the Bedfordshire fire and Rescue Service website:

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