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Fire Safety Compliance

Most people will be aware of the recent controversy over whether children’s costumes comply with fire safety regulations.

Children’s fancy dress costumes must meet the European standard for flammability which is the ‘EN71-2’. The reason for this is that the presence of toxic substances and materials which are too flammable can all result in serious harm. The legislation contains a flammability standard which specifies what a safe rate of burning is.

In Short

All of FancyDressWorldwide.com’s costumes and accessories are carefully chosen from suppliers who comply with the EN71-2 regulation. We have statements of compliance from all suppliers and we will never offer nor stock any item that does not comply with the regulations. If we did ever come across a supplier who offered such costumes, we would report them.

In Depth- the regulation & comparison with other clothing

The ‘EN71-2’ regulation covers;

• Fabrics
• Toys
• Accessories
• Wigs/Extensions/Hair Pieces
• Fancy Dress/Face Masks
• Beards/Moustaches
• Head Dresses/Head Masks

There are only two other regulations for flammability of children’s clothing, the BS 5722 and the BS EN 14878, which cover nightwear. That means that when compared with other children’s clothing;

The ‘EN71-2’ regulation covers fancy dress and toys, the BS 5722 and the BS EN 14878 cover nightwear. There is no regulation nor testing for school uniforms, gym kits, sportswear, blouses, dresses, trousers, skirts and tee shirts or other daywear.

This means that, contrary to popular belief, fancy dress costumes (and nightware) are subject to more testing than other items of children’s clothing and therefore are actually a safer garment.

The Future

It has been suggested that the UK needs to take a tougher stance on flammability testing and right now there are active campaigns to review legislation. It would be hard to argue that a tougher stance would be anything other than a step in the right direction should they lead to less flammability, however it is worth always remembering that fancy dress costumes and nightware are the only garments on sale that are required to comply with legislation.

Advisory Notes

– When buying from other retailers; the cheaper the costume, the cheaper the material. If there are any costumes on the market in the UK that are being offered illegally and don’t comply with the EN71-2 regulation, they will be sold very cheaply. Always check with the retailer who their supplier is and if necessary ask for a statement of EN71 compliance from both retailer and wholesaler.

– Always keep children away from naked flames. All children’s costumes are marked with a ‘Warning! Keep away from fire!’ label. They, like any other garment of clothing, should not be worn near naked flames.

As always, if you have any questions about anything regarding flammability of children’s costumes and EN71 compliance, please get in touch with our office on 0800 020 9910 or e-mail myself at [email protected].

Thanks for reading,

Dom Portman

Managing Director, DAPV LTD (T/A Fancy Dress Worldwide)