Burning beard risk for Swedish Santas

"Ho ho ho!" may become "fire fire fire!" for Santa Claus impersonators seeking to wing it with fake facial hair, Swedish beard safety experts have warned.

Sweden’s national testing institute tested six models of beard on sale in the Scandinavian country and found that two of them turned into a raging inferno when coming into contact with a naked flame.

“We placed the beards on a peg in a laboratory. We placed a small flame underneath for two seconds to simulate a situation where Father Christmas gets too near to a candle or match,” fire expert Per Thureson said in a statement.

One of the firms selling one of the dangerous beards called on customers to return their furry appendages while another told worried Santas they could return them if they wished.

“Taken into account that numerous Father Christmases are not completely sober at Christmas, there is a risk they may hurt themselves,” the statement added.