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South Wales Fire and Rescue Service Backs Campaign For Safer Fancy Dress

Garry Davies, Head of Community Safety and Partnerships at South Wales Fire and Rescue Service  has welcomed moves to improve the safety of children’s fancy dress costumes ahead of Halloween this year.

Business Secretary Sajid Javid has recently requested a nationwide investigation into the safety of children’s fancy dress costumes by Trading Standards inspectors who, in the run up to Halloween, will carry out spot checks on retailers selling fancy dress costumes. The costumes will be subjected to flammability testing to assess whether they are safe for sale and compliant with safety standards.

Garry Davies said: “I am pleased that Ministers are now taking action to have fancy dress costumes checked by our Trading Standards colleagues. Children are wearing fancy dress costumes more and more, not only at Halloween but also all year around, dressing up as superheroes or film characters to go to party’s or just to play around the house, which increases the chance of a terrible accident.

I am looking forward to seeing the outcome of the investigation and changes made to increase children’s safety. However care must always be taken when wearing them, regardless of changes to safety standards.”

While parents may be aware of the dangers of flame and costumes, they might not know just how highly flammable and dangerous certain costumes can be. A few safety tips can be followed:

- Choose close fitting costumes with no flowing parts 
- Keep children away from candles, open fires, naked flames and other ignition sources
- Fancy dress gloves and standard gloves can also be flammable so take care when your child is holding sparklers

“Through the Chief Fire Officer’s Association and Children’s Burns Trust we will be working with government to ensure parents are aware of the potential dangers from fancy dress costumes and to question if current regulations are safe and whether we need these to be improved. We will also be working with South Wales and Gwent Police with various campaigns leading up to and during Halloween. and Bonfire night.”

National Burns Awareness Day is on 21 October. Their website is: www.cbtrust.org.uk 
The government’s announcement of the investigation can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/nationwide-investigation-launched-into-fire-safety-of-childrens-fancy-dress