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Stay safe this Halloween

Please don’t let Halloween become scary for all the wrong reasons this year – if you are planning to celebrate, please do it safely.

We know things are going to be different due to the COVID-19 control measures and urge you to follow the latest advice from our council colleagues in Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes, and also from Thames Valley Police.

Joanne Cook, Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service’s Community Safety and Safeguarding Manager said:

“If you are still planning to celebrate please do it safely. Costumes, clothing, or even soft furnishings, mixed with a naked flame can easily be the ingredients for a more terrifying experience than you bargained for.

“Every year on 31 October, children and adults are injured in accidents where candles have set fire to costumes or hair. Plastic capes and bin liners, often used as costumes, are also fire risks. 

“It is also important to remember that electrical items, such as decorative lights, old wiring, or overloaded sockets can be a fire risk. So, if you are planning an event, please make sure you are aware of some basic advice which could help keep you, your family and your home safe.”

Basic safety advice

  • Lanterns and candles If making homemade lanterns think carefully about the fire risks – particularly the possibility of a candle falling over. Flickering LED candles are safer than real candles. 
  • Never allow small children to carry or play with lanterns lit by naked flames. The handle could become hot and the child could slip. 
  • Lanterns should never be made from plastic bottles or other plastic containers. 
  • Make sure candles are securely placed in a correct holder away from draughts, and placed where they are not likely to be knocked over. 
  • Never let children play near candles. 
  • Ensure that the candles are extinguished completely at night. 

Costumes 

  • Buy from a trusted store or website. If you’re shopping online, check who you are buying from. If it’s a third-party seller, find out as much about them as you can.
  • Fancy dress costumes should be tested for flammability. Look for the CE mark on the label – this certifies it’s been tested.
  • Read all the safety information on the label and online. If it’s clothing for small children, check for laces, drawstrings, and small, trailing or floaty parts.
  • Look for ratings and reviews from other customers who have given feedback.
  • Is it safe? Visit productrecall.campaign.gov.uk and check the costume hasn’t been recalled. It’s quick to do and could make a big difference.
  • Don’t use flammable materials to make home-made costumes. 
  • Keep children away from naked flames at all times. 

Lighting 

  • If you are using decorative lights in your home, ensure that the electricity sockets are not overloaded. 
  • Decorative lights should be switched off at the mains last thing at night, or if the bulbs need changing.

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