Public warned about setting off lanterns

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The public have been warned about the dangers of setting off Chinese Lanterns during the jubilee celebrations.

As the country prepares to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee next month, the Country Land and Business Association is appealing for event organisers and party go-ers to think before they use the lanterns.

The wire framed lanterns – which lift into the air with a lighted candle inside them – have become a popular addition to festivities with annual sales reported to be in the region of 100,000.

But the CLA says that anyone considering using the lanterns to celebrate the Jubilee needs to understand the threat they pose to livestock and to standing crops when the paper lanterns burn out leaving the wire frames to fall to earth.

CLA North Regional Director Dorothy Fairburn said: “At this time of year we are approaching silage and hay making. The wire frames from these lanterns getting into livestock feed is a real threat to animals and could cause them serious injury or death.”

Miss Fairburn also said the fire risk to standing corn crops, hay and straw barns and moorland areas during the drier summer months was very worrying.

“Chinese lanterns may look very pretty, but people who use them need to understand the potential fire and animal health threat they are releasing.

“Research has shown that, on average, firefighters around the country are called out once a week to tackle blazes caused by Chinese Lanterns,” she said.