October 22, 2016
Burnham-On-Sea parents warned over fire risk of Halloween costumes

Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service is warning parents in the Burnham-On-Sea area of the potential fire risk posed by children’s fancy dress costumes, which can quickly burn if touched by a naked flame.

As Halloween approaches, the fire service advises that fancy dress costumes should only be purchased from reputable retailers and always check the label – clothing will always burn if in contact with naked flames, but some much faster than others.

Community Safety Manager Marc House, of Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service, said: "People do not realise just how quickly a costume can catch fire and the fire spread. The design of costumes, with flowing robes, capes or petticoats means they could easily catch fire from a candle or flame and swiftly engulf a child in flames."

"Burn injuries are difficult to treat and once a child’s skin has been burned it does not regain its flexibility and grow as the child does. This means a young burns survivor may have to endure years of painful surgery as they grow and develop.”
Parents are warned that the clothes should be treated as high risk, particularly around the open flames which might be found at birthday parties, Halloween or barbecues."

Marc added: "Some fabrics burn much more quickly and it isn’t easy for people to check whether their clothes will catch light easily. Always keep them well clear of naked flames."

Keep these items out of children’s reach and teach them to ‘stop, drop and roll’ if someone’s clothes catch fire.

Cllr Caroline Chugg, of the Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Authority, added that parents should be aware of other potential burn hazards in the home.

She said: "At this time of year, wood burners are lit and get really hot - just a touch to the sides or glass can take skin off."

"I am also aware of incidents where small children have fallen back into a bath of hot water before cold water has been added and have had severe scarring on their hands. It is always best to put the cold water in first and then add the hot."


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