Claudia Winkleman wins victory over supermarket after daughter's Halloween costume set on fire

Fancy dress costumes will now meet more rigorous fire safety standards after tragedy last October

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The Independent Online

Claudia Winkleman has won a victory against supermarkets after the horror of her daughter's Halloween costume catching fire in 2014.

TV host Winkleman launched a campaign on BBC's Watchdog, speaking of the terror seeing her eight-year-old daughter, Matilda, engulfed in flames, and urging manufacturers to raise safety standards.

Speaking of her relief at the news that Sainsbury's will be meeting the same testing standards as nightwear, Winkleman said: "I love Sainsbury's for it. Others are doing it too. I had to do something."

Asda, Tesco and Marks & Spencer will all be increasing their fire safety standards.

Winkleman has spoken of the night her daughter's witch outfit caught fire, saying that the short, traumatic incident felt like it went on "for hours".

"I was talking to somebody, and then I just heard her scream. She just screamed: 'Mummy' and I turned round and that was that, she was just on fire.


"Everyone was screaming. She was screaming, all the kids there were screaming… It feels like she was on fire for hours but the surgeon said that definitely wasn't the case and it was probably just seconds.

"But she went up, is the only way I know how to describe it. It was not like fire I had seen before."

She urged parents to carefully consider the outfits they put their children in. "I'd like parents on Halloween to think about what they’re going to put their kids in, because I didn't, and it cost us," she said.

Sainsbury's James Brown said:  "We have looked at every detail of our children’s dress-up range in creating our new standard and believe that it will be industry-leading.

"This has not been a simple task, but the safety of children is our number one priority and introducing more rigorous safety standards for our children’s dress-up is the right thing to do.

"All clothing carries some fire risk, but we hope that introducing our own rigorous testing standards that test clothes as clothes rather than as toys will be the first step towards safer testing across the industry."