A pop-up Halloween shop in Chester’s Grosvenor Shopping Centre is giving away flameless candles during half term, in an attempt to encourage youngsters to stay safe.
The Halloween on 31st Street shop is one of 20 stores that will be giving away 10,000 of the candles in the final week of October as children and young people prepare to dress up as ghouls and ghosts for the pagan festival.
Last year BBC Strictly presenter Claudia Winkleman’s daughter Matilda was left with severe burns after her Halloween costume caught light.
Reacting to news that the Government will fund spot checks by Trading Standards to assess whether children’s costumes are meeting safety standards, the director of Calendar Club, which runs the Halloween store, David Pike said: “Kill the candle! This is the best advice as far as we are concerned. We want to see improvements in the standards applied to children’s costumes but this will take time and we can act now by not using naked flame candles – if there are no flame, there are no risks of costumes catching fire.”
Halloween on 31st Street stores are entirely dedicated to Halloween, selling everything from Trick or Treat bags, scary costumes and horror makeup to life-sized animated creatures and cobwebs to help create the perfect spooky atmosphere.
No naked flame
Mr Pike added: “As a retailer of Halloween fancy dress costumes we welcome every effort to ensure that costumes meet the current standards. We would like to see these standards tightened and for all fancy dress costumes to meet tougher flammability standards.
“However, we have to recognise that any such change in the standards will not be in place this year and it will take some time for these standards to be brought into force. Whilst we wait for legislation to catch up with public opinion, we can do more and we can do it quickly.
“There is no reason why naked flame candles need to be used to illuminate pumpkins or other decorations and we recommend using battery operated electric tea-lights instead.
“Halloween has become a special night for many families, who look forward to dressing up, meeting up with friends, visiting the homes of participating neighbours and sharing treats. All the fun of this exciting festival can still be enjoyed safely if we simply ‘kill the candle’.”