12 February 2015
We are writing to you in order to seek support for a campaign to discourage members of the public from using Chinese style sky lanterns in our area.
We share the view of the Chief Fire Officers Association which does not support the use of sky lanterns due to the risks they pose. The floating lanterns contain a naked flame which represents a significant fire risk to life and property when they come down to earth.
In 2013 CCTV footage proved a sky lantern to be the cause of a fire at a recycling plant in the West Midlands. More than 200 firefighters and 39 fire engines were deployed over several days to tackle the fire involving plastics and paper.
In addition to the fire risk, lanterns are also a cause of concern to farmers who have previously called for them to be banned following cases of livestock being injured or killed from eating the metal parts accidentally chopped into animal feed during harvest, or getting caught in wire frames that have landed in fields. Lanterns have also been mistaken for distress flares at sea, placing a demand on the resources of HM Coastguard.
We are hopeful that your Council would set an example by prohibiting the use of sky lanterns at any of your sites or green spaces. We would also ask that through your licensing powers you refuse approval for events where there is a planned release of sky lanterns.
We have also recently written to the Leaders of the Unitary Councils in the Avon Fire & Rescue Service area and they have agreed to support this approach.
We look forward to your response.
Terry Walker Peter Abraham Mike Drew
Chair Vice Chair Vice Chair