Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service (MFRS) is asking families to dress their loved ones safely and to understand the fire safety risks involved on Halloween.
Many Halloween and fancy dress costumes are classed as toys, meaning they can ignite quicker and burn faster – posing a significant risk to those wearing them. It is crucial that parents and caregivers take particular care with their loved ones wearing costumes around heat sources and naked flames, such as candles, fires, lighters and matches.
MFRS Arson Manager Suzanne Hazza said: “We want everyone in Merseyside to enjoy Halloween as safely as possible. We understand this is an exciting night for many families and we’re asking parents to take extra care when choosing costumes and dressing their children. Ensuring the costume has been tested for fire safety and adding a layer of clothing underneath costumes can make a huge difference.”
With Halloween parties and trick-or-treating common with families across Merseyside, Hazza also highlighted the importance of taking care with Halloween pumpkins and decorations.
She added: “As we get closer to Halloween, there are plenty of ways to have fun with the family without compromising on safety. Simple actions such as swapping ordinary candles for LED battery-operated ones or knowing where the nearest exit is at a Halloween party means you can stay safe while enjoying Halloween”.
Top tips for a safe Halloween:
- Check clothing labels to see if they have been tested for fire safety, look for a CE mark
- Add an extra layer of clothing underneath costumes to protect the skin in the event of a fire incident
- Teach children to STOP, DROP and ROLL in the event their clothing does catch fire
- Take extra care when lighting Halloween pumpkins and ensure that no loose clothing is near them at any time (particularly when they are being moved)
- Consider using LED battery-operated candles, these are safer and can be cheaper
- Make sure Halloween decorations are placed well away from naked flames or heat sources, and make sure decorations don’t block any escape routes
- Children and pets should never be left alone with candles or any heat sources
- Ensure all candles are extinguished before going to bed
- Ensure your home has at least one working smoke alarm on every level. Consider fitting additional alarms in other rooms where there are electrical appliances or near sleeping areas