Halloween Costumes Melt Within Seconds

27 October 2015, 11:50 | Updated: 27 October 2015, 12:13

Warnings For Parents As Children's Costumes Burn In Seconds

Parents and carers are being warned to be careful about the costumes they dress their children in this Halloween, after all the fancy dress costumes recently tested by Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service and Cornwall Trading Standards burned and melted in less than two minutes.

Officers from the two services tested five locally bought outfits in a controlled environment at St Austell Community Fire Station. 

Two of the outfits, made of billowing net and polyester fabrics, layers & trailing fabric, burned and melted in just 2 minutes, with a black polyester hat with green artificial polyester hair burning within seconds.

The two fancy dress outfits for boys, a bat costume and a knight, both lit easily then burned and melted in less than 2 minutes.


Andy Burnside, senior trading standards officer says "The most distressing of all was the 18-24 month orange striped cotton pumpkin style outfit for a baby which was engulfed in flames and burned within seconds".

Both services are warning parents and carers to only buy costumes from reputable sources that are manufactured to a high safety standard. Most outfits are currently tested to CE toy product safety standards, meaning they aren't given the same safety classifications as clothes.

The advice is to check for "FLAME RESISTANT" labels that are less likely to ignite & extinguish more quickly, and to keep children away from naked flames.

The best thing to do is use torches, LED's or glow sticks in pumpkins, rather than candles. 

Fire fighter Katie Hoskins-Sweeny says, if a fire does occur "STOP, put your hands over your face, DROP to the floor and ROLL to extinguish the flames".