Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service are warning parents 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 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, Alan Gilson, 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 barbeques.
Alan 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.”
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