BBC Watchdog returned, as promised, to the horrendous accident of Claudia Winkleman’s daughter.
They stated that they had contacted every Chief fire officer in the UK showing them the flame tests carried out on a number of fancy dress items . Then they were asked for their opinion. Apparently, the overwhelming conclusion was that the current regulations were insufficient.
They had also approached a number of high St national retailers asking for their approach for Halloween 2015. A few said they would not now sell such items, others said they were reviewing their policies. Having said that, from seeing the list, I don’t think a number of them actually sell costumes. There were a number of significant players ie discounters, who I suggest were not approached and were probably bigger players when it comes to kids costumes.The further announcement made was that the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, was now looking into the efficacy of the current norms.
Should you want to find out what retailers were involved, I suggest you watch BBC Watchdog on iplayer (may 21st).
Nobody can argue with any of this. Yet, I find it quite extraordinary that it overlooks the cause of this accident – the flame. I suspect the chief fire officer’s remarks were and would have been included as part of his conclusions, but were edited. The reality is, that had there been no naked flame, this would not have happened. Whereas, the poor child could have been wearing any manner of clothing and still have been burnt.
The action of the multiples may create another dilemma for our industry. Over the last four years many independent retailers and online operators have kept away from inexpensive kids costumes and left them to the multiples. However, if they are going to offer them for sale or dramatically reduce their offering, there maybe a pent up demand. As to whether you fulfil that demand is, of course, up to the individual operator. If you do decide to do so then may I suggest that either via your web shop, or your store staff, you highlight the dangers of the naked flame. To repeat my last blog , naked flames and small children , in clothing of any type, are a dangerous concoction .