Fire fears over Halloween tie

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TRADING standards chiefs fear a child could be hurt if they get their hands on a novelty Halloween tie sold in a town centre store.

The Poundworld store, in Hartlepool’s Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, had been selling what Trading Standards officers describe as a “highly flammable” tie.

Neil Harrison with the Halloween tie

Neil Harrison with the Halloween tie

Bosses at the shop are liaising with Trading Standards, and have removed the item from the shelves while the investigation is carried out.

The purple tie, which features a cartoon ghost face, was found to burn very easily during a test by officers.

The tie’s apparent danger came to light after officers bought the garment during a test operation as part of their ongoing work to protect the public and ensure goods comply with safety standards.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s Trading Standards Team have issued a warning as they are concerned the tie could be a risk particularly to children.

Rachael Byron, from the team, said: “We are very concerned that the product caught fire so easily.

“The tie could be worn by a child and could easily come into contact with a naked flame from a candle or a pumpkin.

“Not only did the tie completely burn, flaming debris also fell from it, which may potentially ignite other items.

“We are liaising with Poundworld, and while the tie carries warnings stating that it is not suitable for children, we have expressed grave concerns that it is a flammability risk, and it is the kind of item that would appeal to children.

“We would therefore urge all parents to be extremely vigilant and make sure that children are kept well away from these ties.”

Officers are keen to point out that the tie is correctly labelled with a “Keep away from fire” and “adult use only” warning, but they are worried that it could be bought for or given to a child.

A spokesman for Poundland said: “Safety is always our primary concern and until we resolve the matter the items will remain off sale.

“We have sold 13,000 of these ties and have had no safety issues at all and we clearly state that on our product warning.

“We will continue in dialogue with Trading Standards until we reach a solution which is agreeable to all parties, and one which ensures our customers are not put at risk.”

For further information about the tie or to discuss any other consumer concerns, contact the Trading Standards Team on (01429) 523362.