Fire chiefs urge residents not to set off sky lanterns - The Evesham Observer

Fire chiefs urge residents not to set off sky lanterns

Evesham Editorial 15th Apr, 2020   0

HEREFORD and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) have warned people against using sky lanterns to celebrate the NHS.

Fire chiefs spoke out after the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) encouraged people to look for other ways to support key workers. A UK company faced criticism after encouraging people to buy its sky lanterns and release them as a tribute to the NHS.

But fire bosses have reminded residents the lanterns are a serious fire hazard which pose a risk to livestock, agriculture, thatched properties and hazardous material sites.

“We fully support the fantastic work that the NHS are doing to save lives,” said Group Commander Mick Cadman of the HWFRS Community Risk department.

“We will do everything that we can to back our NHS and, every week, several of our stations are joining in with the ‘clap for carers’ celebration of their immense contribution at 8pm on Thursdays.

“But while we appreciate that sky lanterns can be picturesque, they can also be extremely dangerous. When they finally do land on the ground it’s quite possible that they could result in a fire which could have devastating consequences.

“Furthermore, sky lanterns also pose a significant risk to livestock and could start a serious fire if they come into contact with grassland or woodland which may now be very dry after a period without rain.

“We strongly discourage the use of sky lanterns and urge people to take extra care if they do decide to use them.”

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