Experts say costumes should only be bought from reputable sources, particularly when buying online, and that consumers should check that the product bears a CE mark.
West Sussex Trading Standards and West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service traditionally test a selection of cheap children’s outfits to check they comply with the law and do not catch fire easily and spread too rapidly when set alight.
There were several failures two years ago, but none last year.
David Barling, WSCC’s cabinet member for residents’ services, said: “Hallowe’en is a fantastic festival which is great fun for both children and adults.
“But the message to everyone must be clear. Be scary, but safe. Don’t let the evening end in horror.”
Peter Aston, trading standards manager, added: “Careful shopping is only one element of staying safe. Keeping the costumes away from naked flames is the only sure way to prevent a tragic incident.”
Residents are also advised not dress up as clowns during Hallowe’en following a recent trend.
Mr Barling: “Dressing up during Hallowe’en is exciting and fun but the recent clown craze can be seen by some residents, particularly more vulnerable residents, as extremely intimidating.”
If buyers find any children’s costumes that don’t have a CE mark, they can let Trading Standard know online at www.westsussex.gov.uk/tsreport or via Citizens Advice on 03454 040506.
Anyone who feels threatened or intimidated on Halloween can contact Sussex Police on 101.
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