Flying lanterns are also known as Chinese Lanterns, Wish Lanterns or Sky Lanterns. Traditional flying lanterns go back thousands of years in both Chinese and Thai celebrations, but are becoming more popular worldwide for celebrating weddings, birthdays, anniversaries or any other special event.
Flying lanterns are airborne paper lanterns, generally constructed from paper around a wire frame. They contain a small candle or other solid fuel cell and when lit the flame heats the air inside the lantern causing it to rise.
The Chief Fire Officers’ Association and Humberside Fire and Rescue Service do not support the use of these lanterns and ask members of the public and event organisers to refrain from using them.
These floating lanterns not only constitute a fire hazard but also pose a risk to livestock, agriculture, camping activities, thatched properties and hazardous material sites.
Whilst these lanterns are undoubtedly a popular and beautiful sight, the potential damage they can cause is significant. Once released, the lantern can be carried many miles before descending back to ground level. The unpredictability of the landing area whilst possibly still having a naked flame makes flying lanterns a considerable fire risk.
See also further information in the Celebrate Safely section.
HFRS Position Statement - Flying lanterns
Humberside Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) does not support the use of floating/flying paper lanterns (also known as Chinese lanterns), as they operate in an unregulated and uncontrolled way.
Whilst these lanterns are undoubtedly a popular and beautiful sight, the potential damage they can cause is significant. HFRS therefore, discourage the use of the floating paper lanterns by event organisers and members of the public.
These floating lanterns constitute a fire hazard to livestock, agriculture, straw and hay bales, camping activities and hazardous material sites. Humberside Fire and Rescue Service, the Police and the Coastguard suffer a loss of resources whilst dealing with floating lantern incidents with sightings being mistaken as something else such as a distress flair.
When opportunities exist to discourage the use of floating paper lanterns HFRS will do so.
Humberside Fire and Rescue Service will:
• Proactively work with the local trading standards offices to control the use and design of such products
• Proactively work with the police to discourage the approval of events licences for events that plan to release the flying lanterns
• Proactively work with local events licensers to discourage the use of the flying lanterns