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Fire chief’s warning to revellers

Created on 19/08/2010 @ 10:43


As the Bank Holiday weekend approaches, fire chiefs are warning revellers of the dangers of Chinese lanterns which have become a popular feature for local parties and festivals.
A recent all-Wales survey carried out by the Farmers´ Union of Wales, identified that a number of Chinese lanterns have been found still smouldering on farms across the area creating fire and other associated problems for farmers.

Former FUW Pembrokeshire County Chairman Griff Owen said: "With the increasing use of Chinese Fire lanterns at wedding ceremonies and other celebratory events, the public need to be aware that they have a number of associated problems. Our primary concern is the injuries they can cause to livestock if consumed by the animal and the risk of a smouldering lantern causing a fire.”

Mick Higgins, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service added: “Once these lanterns are released into the air there is no control over where they go and they can travel a significant distance. The fuel cells in the lanterns have embers that can fall from the lantern and these embers can carry on glowing for a number of minutes even after the flame has gone out and the lantern has landed.

“These reports are of great concern. If a smouldering lantern was to land on dry farmland this could lead to a grass or mountain fire and spread across a large area of land. Grass and mountain fires are dangerous and unpredictable, and can quickly spread out of control. Firefighters battle against them under arduous conditions, with fires spread across difficult and sometimes inaccessible terrain.

"We are therefore urging the public to please be aware of the possible fire hazards of Chinese lanterns being released into the air across Wales.”
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