Seasonal safety

Scams, counterfeit goods and protecting your rights as a consumer - all of these are important no matter what time of year it is.

But, whether it's Christmas or Bonfire Night to name a few, there are some events in the calendar year where it pays to take extra care.

Here's our top tips for putting safety first during some of the year's biggest seasonal events.

Tis' the season to be safe!

Whether you're shopping in store, or online, here's a few things you need to know about toy safety.

Know who you are buying from

Wherever you are shopping, remember reputation matters. Is the seller widely recognised for safe and reliable toys? Get as much information on the seller as you can, especially if you’re buying from an online marketplace. Not everything sold on an online platform is supplied by them. If the actual supplier is not based in the UK, you may face heightened risks.

Always read the warnings and instructions

Toys must be clearly marked with age restrictions, which are based on risks such as choking hazards. Always follow the age recommendations.

Consider special needs

Children with special needs might be more vulnerable, so keep this in mind when shopping.

Avoid toys with small parts

Toys with small parts can be a choking hazard, so always check before you buy. 

Look out for strangulation hazards Loose ribbons on toys and costumes can pose risks to young children.

Check the toys are for kids

Magnets can look like toys. Keep them away from children

Compare the sellers

Bargains may be too good to be true. Compare the toy’s price with other sellers. If it’s a fraction of the cost, it’s likely to be counterfeit.

Check for button batteries

Ensure that any button batteries in a toy are safely behind a screwed down flap.

Check for product recalls

See if the toy you’re buying has been recalled at

Check before you wrap

Toys must be clearly marked with age restrictions, which are based on risks such as choking hazards. Always follow the age recommendations.

Make sure that you and your children are spook-tacularly safe this Halloween by making sure to purchase costumes which meet our safety advice:


Make sure your costume is purchased from a reliable source, preferably in the UK. This means it will comply with domestic safety standards and is therefore to be of a higher standard of fire safety.

Checking the label

When thinking about your costume, take some time to check the label and look out for the words: “This garment has undergone additional safety testing for flammability.” ALL parts of your costume should be flame retardant.

The CE mark

This is as close to a safety guarantee as you can get. But don’t be fooled, counterfeit goods often try to fake this mark, so the best way to tell if it’s genuine is by looking at the ‘E.’ You’ll know if it’s a genuine CE mark if the middle line of the E is shorter than the rest of the letter. 

Check for recalls:

It's important to check whether your chosen costume is subject to a product recall. To do this, simply search for 'CTSI recalls' for a full list of all products.


We can’t talk about costume safety without mentioning that all garments have a risk of being flammable so keep yourself and your child away from naked flames.

Safety instructions:

Ensure that the product is accompanied by safety information and instructions where applicable.



Buy fireworks from licensed in store and online retailers

Do not buy fireworks from unknown retailers on social media sites. Remember that the public can only buy Category F2 and F3 fireworks. Check you have enough space to safely use a firework before you buy it. Fireworks can only be purchased by people aged 18 and over.

Store them safely

When storing fireworks, keep them in their original packaging, dry and away from sources of heat and ignition, and lock them away from children and animals.

Be aware of when you can set them off

People are more likely to plan to protect pets and vulnerable people if fireworks are let off on traditional dates. The firework curfew is midnight on Fireworks Night, 1am on Diwali, New Year’s Eve and Chinese New Year, and 11pm the rest of the year.

Be considerate to others when letting off fireworks

Let neighbours know in advance when you are planning to let off fireworks, so they can take steps to protect vulnerable people and animals. If you live close to horses, make sure you site your fireworks well away from them and aim them in the opposite direction. Do not let off fireworks if they will disturb nearby farm animals, wildlife habitats, or roosting bats and birds.

Keep animals safe

Dogs and cats should be kept inside and have a hiding place. Give small animals who live outside lots of extra bedding and nesting material to burrow in.

Follow the instructions on fireworks for safe usage

Read instructions carefully and if you do not understand them, do not use the firework. Read all the safety warnings on the firework box so you know important information like how far away people should stand from the firework. Once any debris has cooled down, tidy it up and soak it in water. Then put in a rubbish bag and in the bin.


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