With Halloween and Bonfire celebrations approaching, people are being reminded to play it safe by following safety advice from Hampshire County Council’s Trading Standards.
The Local Authority’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory Services, Councillor Russell Oppenheimer, explains: “Around this time of the year, there are some simple steps we can all take, especially parents and carers of younger children, to avoid any nasty surprises. Checking for safety labelling on costumes and ensuring small button battery compartments are secure could prevent serious injury, or an even worse outcome.
“Alongside the steps you can take at home, we are also protecting residents through the work our Trading Standards officers who are regularly visiting retailers to ensure that fireworks are stored correctly and only selling to those who are aged over 18, and our Scientific Services tests products to check they are compliant and safe for Hampshire’s consumers.”
Have a safe Halloween by following these tips:
Check the labels of children’s costumes and other toys including face paints, wigs or masks – products must have a UKCA or CE mark which means the product complies with the required safety standards – avoid buying fake items
Take extra care if buying your Halloween outfits online – try to buy from well-known and trusted retailers
Consider battery operated tealights or glow sticks inside any pumpkins rather than wax tealights or candles requiring a naked flame
Familiarise yourself with fire safety guidance – Halloween guidance from Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire & Rescue Service
For any products using button cell batteries (such as tealights), ensure the battery compartments are not directly accessible – the cell batteries should be either secured with a screw or require two independent actions to open them. Button cells have been swallowed by children resulting in serious internal injuries from the battery acid and, in some cases, fatalities
Check sweets and edible treats are suitable for smaller children and do not present a choking hazard. Be particularly careful if your child has a food allergy and check the packaging for allergy information.
Check the latest safety alerts and product recalls
Safety first with fireworks:
If buying fireworks, only buy from reputable retailers and look for the UKCA or CE mark – follow the Firework Code and make sure pets and other animals are safely indoors
Store fireworks securely in the original manufacturer’s packaging and keep away from children and under 18s
Hampshire County Council’s Trading Standards team carries out inspections on premises that are storing and selling fireworks to ensure they are stored safely, are in the manufacturers’ original packaging, and only sold to people over 18. Officers also monitor imports coming into the UK through Hampshire ports to check for goods that do not comply with UK safety standards.
Every year, to help keep consumers safe, Hampshire’s Scientific Service carries out hundreds of tests on toys and other popular products, that are submitted for testing from a range of organisations, to identify fake and dangerous goods – issues include items that could cause choking.
If something goes wrong with a product you have been sold, you can report your concerns to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice on 0808 223 1133 or their consumer helpline online.
For more information on the work of Hampshire County Council’s Trading Standards, visit: https://www.hants.gov.