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Dangers of Chinese Lanterns


Advice issued by Herefordshire Council and Hereford & Worcester Fire Authority

The public are asked to be aware of the dangers posed to people, property and animals by the use of Sky (Chinese) lanterns during the Christmas and New Year celebrations.

Herefordshire Council agreed unanimously in September 2015 to restrict the use of lanterns on council owned land and at events licensed by the council.  There is potential danger of fire if a lantern lands before the fuel cell has been used up and of the injury or death to wild, domestic and farm animals if they ingest parts of the lantern's wire frame.

Councillor Bruce Baker, said:

"What people may not be aware of, is the untold amount of damage they’ve caused to property and their lethal effects on wildlife.

"Animals and birds can become entangled in the wire frames, then become stressed and usually starve or bleed to death.

"Farm animals and domestic pets can ingest small parts of a lantern’s frame that’s landed in open countryside, private gardens or which may have been chopped into animal feed."

Hereford & Worcester Fire Authority, said:

"Hereford & Worcester Fire Authority and Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (in discharging the duties of the authority) discourages the use of the floating paper lanterns often referred to as Sky or Chinese lanterns at any location in Herefordshire or Worcestershire.

"Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Authority has banned the use of floating paper lanterns at any of its stations or other properties.

"These floating lanterns not only constitute a fire hazard but also pose a risk to livestock, agriculture, camping activities, thatched properties and hazardous material sites.

"The authority does not support the use of these devices at any event and asks members of the public and event organisers to refrain from using them. Whilst these lanterns are undoubtedly a popular and beautiful sight, the potential damage they can cause is significant.

"To discourage the use of floating paper lanterns, the authority will continue to embed restrictions in licenses issued under the Licensing Act 2003 for large events and inform the public of the dangers associated with such devices."

Information can be found on the Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue safety pages

The RSPCA have information on the danger the lanterns pose to animals