Some kids’ Halloween costumes are dangerously flammable
The Vancouver Fire Department is sending a warning about the flammability of some popular childrens’ Halloween costumes.
There are specific Federal Government regulations governing kids sleepwear but no specific language around kids Halloween costumes. Health Canada told us broad language in the Canada Consumer Protection Safety Act applies to costumes along with many other things.
“Most commercially available costumes use synthetic fibres which can cause burns if exposed to high heat or flame; another reason to be extra cautious when using fireworks or sparklers, " Captain Jonathan Gormick from the Vancouver Fire Department told us.
The V.F.D. showed us how quickly costumes can burn at its testing facility in Vancouver. We tested a wig, a princess dress, a hood and a black cape. Firefighters dressed a dummy in the items and set them on fire.
The dress started to melt within two minutes and the wig, which had no flame warning, lit up and kept burning. All the costumes tested sustained fire damage in the demonstration.
“Yeah we get a lot of burns from kids setting off crackers and fireworks,” Lieutenant Joe Kiem said.
Traditionally, the Vancouver Fire Department sees a 33 per cent increase in calls during Halloween night over a regular night.
When asked about regulation around kids Halloween costumes, Health Canada directed us to language in The Canada Consumer Product Safety Act. It prohibits manufacturers or importers from manufacturing, importing, advertising or selling a consumer product that is a danger to human health or safety, and prohibits any person from advertising or selling a consumer product that they know is a danger to human health or safety.
Most of the products we tested were made in China.