The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has introduced two voluntary codes of practice on flammability tests, in a bid to make children’s fancy dress costumes safer.
The trade body said that an accident involving TV presenter Claudia Winkleman’s daughter Matilda in 2014, who was left with severe burns after her Halloween costume caught fire, had exposed the need for more ”robust” flammability testing.
The new BRC standard test for flammability has a more stringent requirement of a maximum burn rate of 10mm a minute, compared to 30mm a minute previously.
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 [the British Standards Institution] 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.”