Retailers look to make Halloween costumes safer
The British Retail Consortium and its members have introduced two voluntary Codes of Practice as they look to enhance the safety of children’s Halloween costumes.
The move follows the accident involving Claudia Winkleman’s daughter in 2014 which left her with severe burns.
The BRC said the accident and subsequent media coverage had led the organisation and its members to develop a more robust flammability test.
The resulting BRC test standard for flammability, endorsed by RoSPA, The National Fire Chiefs Council, Bedfordshire and Luton Fire and Rescue Service and the Children’s Burns Trust, has since been reinforced with the more stringent requirement of a maximum burn rate of 10mm/minute – an improvement of 300% over the existing 30mm/minute standard. The BRC said this is just one of the many stricter requirements introduced in the last 12 months.
David Bolton, head of product safety at the BRC said: “We have led the way in developing guidance and tools to help all companies, not just our members, test products to a standard above current regulations to give their customers the reassurances they rightly demand.
“First introduced in 2016, we continue to review and refine it to ensure it is robust and add to a company’s own due diligence process. We have also been working with BSI to encourage Europe to adopt our standard.
“Whilst this is a valuable tool for all companies, we are still recommending that the UK Government and EU authorities revisit the legislation to ensure all products on the market are effectively regulated to reflect the hazards presented by today’s style of costumes, including the fabrics and finishes used.”
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