Nottinghamshire County Council’s county Trading Standards team have advised a Nottinghamshire retailer to remove the costume from shelves as it had ties on the hat of the outfit which stayed alight for around 18 seconds after being ignited during tests. The relevant British Standard states an item must not be flammable for more than two seconds once ignited.
The pirate costume and another outfit, a Queen of Hearts dress, both had inadequate labelling. They each had aspects within the clothing which would burn to a rate between 10 and 30mm/second, meaning that under the British Standard they must carry the wording “Warning! Keep away from fire” on the labelling. Each simply had the wording “In the interest of safety keep away from fire.”
Councillor Glynn Gilfoyle, committee chairman for community safety at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “Four of the products we sent for testing passed all of the tests but these two items fail to comply with the legislation (the remaining two results are still to be received).
“We have asked the retailer to remove the items from sale and the county council have made contact with the relevant Trading Standards authority where the costumes’ importer is based to ask them to advise the business accordingly. We hope these tests offer reassurance to the public that we are not only actively carrying out product surveillance but will always follow up on products which do not meet all the relevant safety standards.”
The findings follow tests carried out on eight costumes sent to a laboratory earlier this month by the county council’s Trading Standards team. The operation was led locally by Tim Watson, as part of a national campaign co-ordinated by Newcastle Trading Standards to test and check outfits to see if they pose a safety risk.
It follows high profile cases around the UK in previous years of material being easily flammable and products displaying inadequate safety warnings for consumers. In one case, the daughter of celebrity Claudia Winkleman was severely burnt when her Halloween costume caught light.
The activity forms part of the county council’s work to check the safety of products this Halloween and fireworks season. Trading Standards officials are also visiting licensed retailers to ensure they are meeting the requirements of the Explosives Regulations 2014 with regards the storage and sale of fireworks.
As well as visiting supermarkets, independent retailers and businesses set-up specifically for this party season, the county council is also monitoring online products. The team will also be on alert for any fake, dangerous and counterfeit goods.
If you have any concerns on particular products or to receive further advice, please phone the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.