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Celebrate Halloween Safely

Last updated  18 May 2018

We want everyone to enjoy a safe and spooky Halloween, but every year many adults and children are injured when lit candles come into contact with trailing costumes and wigs.

Battery operated LED candles are the safest way to light up scary things at Halloween. However if you do have naked flames around make sure pumpkins, candles and other lights are placed well away from anything that can burn. Please don’t put them too close to paths where ‘trick or treaters’ will walk, their flowing costumes might catch fire.

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Stop, Drop, Cover & Roll if a costume catches fire:

Fancy dress costumes are regulated as toys not clothes so don’t meet the same safety standards as children’s clothing. Make a game of teaching children what to do if their fancy dress costume catches fire. They should “Stop, drop, cover and roll”  - stop still, drop to the ground, cover their face with hands, and roll over and over to put the flames out. Call 999 immediately for assistance if a costume catches fire.

Prevent Halloween fires:

  • Use LED battery lights instead of candles in pumpkins and elsewhere;
  • Place pumpkins, candles and other naked flames well away from anything that can burn;
  • Place candles, pumpkins or any flame out of way of trick-or-treaters, doorways and paths;
  • Don’t put them too close to paths where ‘trick or treaters’ in their flowing costumes might catch fire;
  • When choosing or making a costume, avoid billowing or long trailing fabric and make sure it is flame retardant;
  • Keep an eye on children at all times when around lit candles;
  • Use flashlights instead of garden candles and lanterns for decorating your house and paths;
  • Keep pets safely away from any lit flames;
  • Avoid plastic capes and using bin liners as costumes;
  • Keep flowing items like fake hair and capes away from candle and other flames;
  • If your child is wearing a mask, make sure the eye holes are large enough so they can see clearly;
  • Give children electric torches to light their way instead of candles;
  • Keep highly flammable decorations like dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper well away from naked flames and heat sources like light bulbs and heaters;
  • If you must use candles use extra long matches or a utility lighter to light candles inside pumpkins  and place them well away from anything that can burn;
  • Keep exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes;
If your children are going to a friend’s house for a party make a game out of spotting ways out of the home and plan how they would get out in an emergency.


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