LESS THAN TWO MINUTES - that's how long it takes for some children's Halloween costumes to become engulfed in flames when set alight.
It's a terrifying thought for any parent, but Halloween costumes that claim to meet flammability regulations can be completely destroyed by a single naked flame in around two minutes' time. Our Community Safety team in North East Lincs invited the Grimsby Telegraph down to chat about these dangers and set up a controlled burn of some of these outfits to show the risks. This article is taken wholly from their story. To see the video click here.
The shocking revelation was made by firefighters at Humberside Fire and Rescue's Cromwell Road station, in Grimsby, when they staged a demonstration to prove just how quickly Halloween costumes go up in flames.
It was part of the station's Burn's Night event, in which officers looked to raise awareness of the dangers of wearing festive costumes near a naked flame, in the run-up to both Halloween and Bonfire Night next week.
The aim of the public event was to raise aware to parents and children, about what could happen if their costume was to be set alight.
Crew Manager Rob Stewart from Peaks Lane Fire Station says that labels on costumes which say they have passed safety tests, can often mislead buyers:
"More and more people are having Halloween parties and that is increasing the number of costumes that are being worn. Often they are made of cheap materials that are very flammable. Once they catch fire and ignite, it spreads rapidly.
"You see so many accidents and we want to make sure people are aware of the dangers of potential serious burns. It's the worst nightmare for any parent."
Even though your costume might meet safety requirements, it doesn't mean that they won't catch fire."
During the public demonstration on Friday evening, Rob set fire to a costume that supposedly meets flammability regulations, and ones that advises parents to keep the item away from flames.
The costume that meets the requires, the larger pink one, pictured, took around four minutes from ignition to become a pile of melted plastic and cloth. The smaller, less safe costume, took around three minutes from ignition to be destroyed.
Jo Peart, Humberside Fire and Rescue Community Safety Advocate, is urging people to use battery-powered candles for decorations like pumpkins, rather than a naked flame in a bid to stem the potential risks:
"For us it's all about keeping kids as safe as possible. At a party it only take a spark to ignite clothing. When something has gone through tests you expect it to be at a certain standard but sometimes that is just not the case."
For more information on festive fire safety, visit www.humbersidefire.gov.uk/your-safety/safety-in-th....
Meanwhile, Humberside Police has warned Halloween revellers that as kids and families enjoy the festivities, it is not always fun for everyone.
The force want to let people know that not everyone wants to be involved in Halloween and there are times when what seems innocent fun to some people, can bring real fear to elderly or vulnerable residents.
Officers are carrying out a campaign over the weekend to help combat associated crime, reduce incidents of anti-social behaviour and provide advice and support to local communities.
Chief Inspector James Glansfield who is overseeing the policing operation said:
"Officers from community policing teams have visited schools across the force area to speak about anti-social behaviour urging youngsters to enjoy the festivities without becoming a nuisance in their neighbourhood.
"We would ask parents and carers to keep children safe and to know where they are and what they are doing. Mischief Night is not a license to cause criminal damage.
"A local agreement with retailers is also being refreshed to remind them of their responsibility not to sell flour and eggs to youngsters on the run up to Halloween and Mischief Night."
The Humberside Police website and Facebook page will be featuring crime prevention advice, a printable copy of the "Sorry no trick or treat" posters the "Haunter's Code" and a poster specifically aimed at preventing youngsters buying eggs and flour from shops on the run up to Halloween and Mischief Night.