Following on from the BBC Countryfile investigation into the damage and injury that can be caused to the countryside by Chinese Lanterns, The BBC One show on Tuesday 2nd August highlighted the ever growing problem with Chinese or ‘sky’ lanterns, the paper lanterns that fly into the night sky when lit. The One Show looked at fire damage to cars from rogue lanterns, the real risk of houses fires – and even personal injury to both adults and children from molten wax.
The Civil Aviation Authority has asked the public not to use sky lanterns near airports. The Coastguard have had said they have had hundreds of false emergency calls are caused by sky lanterns. The NFU wants a total ban on Sky lanterns, saying they cause damage to farmland, the countryside and to grazing animals and the Chief Fire Officers Association says that there should be a Government review and a ban should be looked at – saying that safety issues outweigh other considerations. Glastonbury organiser Michael Eavis has banned sky lanterns at the Festivals (although they are still snaked in) but Michael says that there is a real risk of tents catching fire – and cattle have already been fatally injured . Michaels says that they should be banned as they are a “real real menace”
There are safer Sky Orbs with solid fuel cells and flame retardant paper, and following instructions will improve safety, but in Germany and Australia sky lanterns have been banned and many like Michael Eavis want a total ban, NOW.