Lantern warning issued by fire chiefs
FIRE and council chiefs are warning residents about the dangers of using Chinese lanterns to celebrate Christmas and the New Year.
Both Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service and Cambridgeshire County Council’s Trading Standards team have issued the warning because they believe that Chinese lanterns can pose a fire risk to homes, buildings, vegetation and livestock.
Dave Warren, head of community safety at the fire service, said: “Chinese lanterns pose a fire hazard to buildings, gardens, crops and vegetation.
“We do not support their use and strongly advise people not to purchase or release them.
“Recently, a family were put at serious risk in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, when a Chinese lantern landed on their timber frame home when they were asleep. Luckily, they managed to escape thanks to a passer-by who raised the alarm.”
The Trading Standards team is warning that Chinese lanterns pose a danger because people can be injured by dripping hot wax while livestock can be injured by a lantern’s metal frame if it falls into a field.
Lead officer from Trading Standards, Mark Oliver said: “If members of the public and traders are determined to use and sell Chinese lanterns then we would ask them to ensure that they are 100 per cent biodegradable and contain no metal wires.
“Lanterns may look safe but they are potentially dangerous. There are a number of areas that are unsuitable for flying lanterns - if in doubt please don’t use them.