Brighton and Hove fire chiefs issue warning about Chinese lanterns

Posted On 01 Aug 2011 at 7:14 pm

Firefighters are trying to discourage people in Brighton and Hove from using Chinese lanterns, saying that they have caused a spate of fires across the country.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, which serves Brighton and Hove, said: “There is evidence of them causing fires, wasting police time, being mistaken for distress flares, misleading aircraft and killing livestock.

“The risk of these occurrences will only increase as the use of Chinese lanterns increases.

“East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service does not support the use of these devices and asks members of the public and event organisers to refrain from using them.

“While these lanterns are undoubtedly a popular and beautiful sight, the potential damage they can cause is significant.”

Steve Wright, the temporary head of community safety, said: “During the summer period these lanterns pose an even greater threat.

“Locally there has been concern raised about these lanterns landing in fields of dry crops.

“Obviously they have the potential to cause crop fires but there is also the chance of causing harm to livestock on consuming the remains of these lanterns once they have landed.

“East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service also has an example of a house fire in Kent caused by a sky lantern on our Black Museum web pages highlighting potential causes of fire and giving important safety messages.”

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