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Celebrate safely - sky lanterns are fun but pose a serious fire risk

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With the Chinese New Year fast approaching, make fire safety a priority.

Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service strongly advises against the use of sky lanterns. They are a serious fire risk as you do not know where they will end up. As well as there being a danger of fire, there are also other risks to crops, vehicles, livestock and the environment.

Sky lanterns are illegal in Germany but were still responsible for a fire at a zoo in Krefeld where dozens of animals, including 30 primates in the monkey house, died.

So the Fire Kills campaign and HWFRS are encouraging people in Herefordshire and Worcestershire to take care if using a sky lantern. HWFRS offers these top tips:

  • keep the launch area clear of flammable materials
  • children and other observers must maintain a safe distance upwind of the launch
  • do not attempt to launch damaged lanterns
  • do not smoke or drink while handling lanterns
  • ensure enough clearance to avoid obstacles such as trees, power lines or buildings
  • avoid launching near roads, especially major roads or motorways
  • avoid crops, especially in dry conditions
  • do not launch within five miles of any airport
  • do not launch in wind speeds in excess of 5 mph
  • check wind direction before launch
  • be aware of any other local conditions that could affect launch or landing safety such as thatched buildings, crops or dry heathland
  • do not tie anything to the lantern as this may cause instability which could lead to the lantern igniting

For more information, see: https://www.gov.uk/government/... or visit: https://firekills.campaign.gov.uk