A NATIONWIDE investigation into safety of children’s fancy dress costumes has been launched by Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid.
The review has been welcomed by Hereford and Worcester Fire Rescue Service (HWFRS) and includes spot checks for flammability on hundreds of fancy dress costumes.
Mr Javid said: “My immediate concern as a father and a minister is that children wearing these fancy dress costumes are safe.
“It is unacceptable for any costumes to be sold that do not comply with safety standards.
“That’s why I’ve granted funding to Trading Standards to carry out spot checks as part of a nationwide investigation.
“Parents should feel confident that any fancy dress they buy meets required standards.”
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is working with the British Standards Institute to determine whether European safety standards are tough enough.
The current standards for safety treat fancy dress the same as toys, which only pass the EN71 safety test.
However, a previous report by Watchdog revealed the rapid rate at which a costume can burn.
The Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) took part in the BBC programme and called for children’s fancy dress costumes to meet the same safety standards as nightwear.
Chief Fire Officer Mark Yates said: “As a fire officer and father of a four-year-old daughter, I agree 100 per cent with CFOA’s position on this matter.
“Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service fully support this nationwide review which we hope will lead to tougher standards and ultimately protect our children.”
Area commander and head of community risk, Mark Preece said: “With Halloween fast approaching, we’d advise parents to take extra care, stay vigilant and ensure youngsters do not go anywhere near naked flames.”
Trading Standards will report back to the Business Secretary on its findings later in the autumn.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is also working with the British Standards Institute to assess whether European safety standards in this area need to be toughened-up. The Trading Standards findings will provide evidence for that assessment.
For further key fire safety messages, visit: www.hwfire.org.uk