Firefighters in video warning to highlight Halloween costume dangers


Firefighters have staged a demonstration showing how quickly children's Halloween costumes can catch fire in a hard hitting video.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) has said that, after testing some of the costumes on sale, outfits became engulfed in flames in just nine seconds before melting away.

The footage shows a range of tiny Halloween costumes being set alight by staff from GMFRS in a bid to highlight the dangers of flammable fancy-dress costumes for children.

Strictly Come Dancing co-host Claudia Winkleman has campaigned to have testing standards of children's costumes amended after her daughter Matilda, suffered severe burns after her costume caught alight last year.

GMFRS are now urging parents to keep children away from naked flames, warning that the materials used in the costumes can melt onto the skin and cause serious burns.

The warning comes after the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) wrote to the Government calling for stricter testing of the costumes, which are classed as toys and not subject to the same tests clothes are.

Assistant County Fire Officer and Director of Prevention and Protection, Geoff Harris, said: "We want everyone to enjoy Halloween, but we also need to warn parents about the dangers of these costumes - they look great, but some of them are incredibly flammable.

"The material these costumes are made of melts when it burns and it will stick to the skin causing horrific injuries.

"You can avoid disaster this Halloween by keeping your children away from naked flames and using battery powered tea lights instead of candles in your pumpkin lanterns.

"If you must use candles consider putting them in a glass jar, so there's no chance of the flame catching a costume.

"We would also recommend that you don't take your children to bonfires or firework displays when they are wearing these costumes.

"If the worst should happen and clothes catches fire remember stop, drop and roll."