Halloween Costumes go up in flames, warns safety officials as the festive date draws near. Despite a new “safety clampdown” in Britain regarding the sale of flammable clothing, unsafe outfits are on sale in High Street retailers ready for Halloween, reports the Daily Mail. YouTube vloggers have conducted tests on a range of Halloween costumes which are on sale in the high street. It seems they can ignite and go up in flames within five seconds.
The dangers of dressing up in Halloween outfits had horrendous consequences for the daughter of Strictly Come Dancing star Claudia Winkleman last year. Matilda suffered severe burns after her costume burst into flames after brushing past a tealight candle. The outfit was bought at a supermarket, which included “a hat, cape, stripy tights, and a flowing skirt.” The costume caught fire on an open flame. Winkelman recently praised the government clampdown which includes “spot-checks on costumes to see if they meet safety standards.”
However YouTube vloggers “working for Channel Mum,” say the costumes tested in a “nationwide safety crackdown,” revealed that Halloween costumes are still on sale that do not meet the safety standards. The vloggers tested outfits from the UK’s most popular stores. “They found each one caught fire in just six seconds or less.”
It is not just in Britain that concerns have been raised about the safety of Halloween costumes. ABC News reports that year after year parents worry about the dangers of hazardous costumes their children dress in to go trick-or-treating. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, since 1980, there have been at least 16 cases of children under the age of 15 who sustained burn injuries involving the Halloween costumes they were wearing.
As with the daughter of Claudia Winkleman, “eight of the incidents” were caused by an open flame, either from a candle or a lit jack-o-lantern. According to the Commission, three children were burned because of something they were wearing as part of the costume, such as a flashlight, a citronella torch, and a battery-powered mask. Another worrying aspect relating to these incidents is that “in five other incidents, the source of the fire is unknown.” This suggests that even if parents take care that their children are not near naked flames from festive decorations, the costumes are so flammable any source of heat could ignite them, such as a lit cigarette, sparks from fireworks, a bonfire, a barbecue, or an overheated light bulb or battery.
The Mirror reports that the Halloween costume which caused most concern was an outfit sold by Tesco. Their devil costume set fire immediately. In the YouTube video the costume can be seen “melting away in the flames within a minute.” The government has ordered that Trading Standards must “carry out spot checks on fancy dress costumes.” However, it seems that those that have been tested so far are highly flammable and completely unsafe to wear.
By Shirley Good
Photo Courtesy YouTube