Halloween Costume Safety - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Halloween Costume Safety

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With Halloween only a day away, families are picking out last-minute costumes and accessories to make their night one-of-a-kind.  Many costumes on the market claim to be flame-resistant.  But, will they actually live up to their claim to fame?  

From superheroes to fairies, Halloween costumes come in all styles and sizes.  But, all of fabric used to make the costumes is subject to the Flammable Fabric Act of 1953, which is regulated by the Consumer Safety Commission.

"It only deals with the fabric and is very limited on what goes on the fabric," explains fire inspector Brian Andersen.  "A lot of the glue used to hold sparkles and the glitter is not regulated."

When you go shopping for a Halloween costume, it may be difficult to differentiate between flammable and non-flammable costumes.  Take this costume for example, no where on the front of the package does it say anything about being flame-resistant.  I'm going to check the tag on the inside.  All it talks about is washing instructions, which is a trend you'll see on many costumes this year.

"When they say that fabric is flame-proof, it's just meeting the minimum standards that the fabric part will not catch on fire," says Andersen.

So, how safe is your child's Halloween costume?  We wanted to find out.  With the help of the Minot Fire Department, we decided to put some common costumes to the test.

"It's going to be an interesting experiment," says Andersen.

We started with the Dorothy costume, which is made out of 100 percent polyester and specifically says to keep away from fire on the label.  But, with kids, anything is possible.

"There we go, just within a few seconds, it's already a fire," says Andersen.  "You can see the melting down there, every now and then you'll see a drop occur.  That's how the polyester melts."

You'll notice the entire costume burns up within a matter of seconds.  This costume fire would have resulted in a hospital visit.

"It melted it together.  If you took it apart, you would see it went clear up to the inside up to the chest area," says Andersen.

Next up: the Batman cape.

"That was instantly ignited, it started melting," says Andersen.

This time, the fabric actually puts itself out like it's supposed to.

Lastly, it was time to set a flame to the wig, which Andersen predicts will be one of the biggest hazards.

"It just continues to drip and just melt away."

While this was an eye-opening experience, Halloween can be a fun holiday for kids and adults alike as long as it's done safely.

To prevent any type of costume fire, Andersen recommends homeowners use electric candles in jack-o-lanterns. 

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