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East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service logo

Getting spooky this Halloween? Ditch the candles!

Date : 26 October 2020

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East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is reminding people of the risks of candles this Halloween.

With many families carving pumpkins and decorating homes in preparation, the Service wants people to take some simple safety steps.

We are encouraging people to opt for battery powered tealights or candles instead of the real thing. These are relatively easy to find in shops and reduce the risk of fire.

We don’t want to spoil the fun to be had on Halloween but we want to warn people of the potential dangers that can be faced.


Halloween is a great occasion to dress your home with all sorts of spooky decorations. Many homes incorporate candles in their decorations to enhance the eerie atmosphere. When using candles, it’s important to be wary of where they are situated and the other decorations around it. Candles should be isolated enough so that they don’t pose any danger, so make sure other decorations or hanging parts are kept away from the naked flames.  Alternatively, you can use battery powered tealights/candles. 

Lanterns and pumpkins

Jack-o-lanterns are a staple of the Halloween season, and carving one can be a fun activity between parent and child. Despite traditional jack-o-lanterns typically containing candles to light up their frightening expression, we recommend switching to battery operated lights to ensure a safer experience. The same precautions also apply to handheld pumpkins and lanterns that your child may be carrying as part of their costume.


Be wary of the materials used in Halloween costumes. Synthetic materials are much more flammable than natural materials, so keep an eye out for costumes containing cotton, silk or wool. These materials will be more resistant to fire and give yourself more time to act if a fire does occur.

If clothing catches fire - stop, drop and roll

In the event that clothing does catch fire - remember to STOP, DROP and ROLL: 

  • STOP where you are. Do not run. Running can make things worse.
  • DROP to the ground. Lay flat with your legs out straight.
  • Cover your eyes and mouth with your hands.
  • ROLL over and over and back and forth until the flames are out.
  • Get help straight away.

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