Business Secretary Sajid Javid has announced that Trading Standards teams are to carry out spot checks on children’s fancy dress costumes for sale across the UK.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and British Standards Institute is currently assessing whether European safety standards are tough enough to protect children from injury if fancy dress costumes are worn near fire, flames or fireworks.
The announcement on Thursday (24/09/15) precedes a national fire safety campaign.
Trading Standards inspectors will carry out spot checks on hundreds of retailers selling fancy dress costumes in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The costumes will be subjected to flammability testing to assess whether they are safe for sale and are compliant with current fire safety standards.
Business Secretary Sajid 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.”
Trading Standards is set to 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 should be tightened up. The results of the Trading Standards investigation will inform the assessment.
TV presenter Claudia Winkleman has previously raised concern about the safety of fancy dress costumes, after her daughter suffered serious burns when her fancy dress costume caught fire during Halloween last year.
Chief executive of the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI), Leon Livermore, said:
“In light of the upcoming Halloween season, we welcome the government funding for Trading Standards to investigate the safety of children’s fancy dress costumes.
“CTSI takes issues of product safety very seriously – and hopes the evidence gathered as part of this investigation will help to establish whether the current flammability standards are still fit for purpose.”
National Burns Awareness day is due to be held on 21 October – ten days before Halloween – to raise awareness of burns injuries in the UK.
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