With the horrific story of TV presenter Claudia Winkleman’s child’s costume catching fire hitting the headlines the other year, Lincolnshire Trading Standards officers are offering a video guide to buying kids’ Hallowe’en outfits while still getting into the spirit with safety in mind.
As Halloween approaches, Lincolnshire Trading Standards is offering advice to parents when choosing their children’s fancy dress costumes.
Alexandra Connell, senior trading standards officer at Lincolnshire County Council, says: “Many parents aren’t aware that fancy dress costumes are classed as toys, which means that they can be tested to a lower flammability standard than other types of children’s clothing such as nightwear.
“As such, to keep your kids as safe as possible, we’ve put together five top things to look for when buying costumes this year.”
Lincolnshire Trading Standards’ top tips are:
○ Check there is a name and address of the manufacturer on the costume packaging.
○ Make sure there is a ‘CE’ mark on the label. This means the costumes comply with the Toy Safety Regulations.
○ Check that the ‘CE’ mark is genuine - the middle stem of the E should be slightly shorter than the outside of the E.
○ Check for product recalls on https://www.tradingstandards.uk/consumers/product-recalls
○ Buy from a reputable retailer, so you know who to speak to if something goes wrong with the costume.
If costumes purchased do not include the ‘CE’ mark, parents are being urged to contact Trading Standards to report them.
Deputy community fire safety manager at Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, James Baker adds: “Our advice is simple – please keep your children away from candles, lanterns or tea-lights.
“If you are planning on decorating your home ready for Halloween, please use LED tea-lights, particularly inside your pumpkins and lanterns.
“We don’t want to stop people enjoying Halloween, but we do want them to celebrate safely. There is nothing more terrifying than having a fire at home or seeing your clothes catch fire, which in some cases can have a lasting impact on day-to-day life.”
Children’s fancy dress costumes discovered without the ’CE’ mark should be reported to Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.
○ Sleaford Police are also making posters available for residents who may not wish to be disturbed by trick or treaters at Hallowe’en. This may be because of shift work or medical conditions where such unwanted intrusion might affect them.
Posters are available at Sleaford police station on Boston Road.