Beware of flammable Halloween costumes

Tim Evanson/Flickr Commons

MASON CITY, Iowa – As we inch closer to Halloween, families are decorating their homes and picking out those trendy costumes, but keep in mind the safety of those costumes on Halloween night.

The bottom line is costumes and candles go hand-in-hand on Halloween, but they don’t necessarily mix well. Costume manufacturers are required to finish their products with a coating making them non-flammable, but there are still risks when it comes to certain fabrics.

Local fire officials say the biggest risks of costumes in question are homemade costumes. Local fire officials say some materials used to make these costumes aren’t properly treated to be non-flammable and can catch on fire in less than five seconds.

“Pay attention to what you’re using,” explains Mason City Fire Capt. Jack Odegaard. “If you’re using paint or if you’re using really thin fabrics, just make sure you’re not making these costumes too flowy.  We know that doesn’t go along with the costume sometimes, but just make sure that they are safe and that they don’t go around any open flames.”

He says a good solution would be to avoid using actual candles when lighting your Jack-O-Lantern, use battery operated lights instead.

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