Can Chinese lanterns cause fires?
In addition to the serious problems sky lanterns pose to animals welfare, they are also a fire hazard not just to wildlife habitats but also farm buildings. Fire services have issued warnings to people over the fire risk following incidents such as the Smethwick recycling plant fire.
Why does the RSPCA want sky lanterns to be banned?
- Sky lanterns present a hazard to animal welfare for numerous reasons. Lanterns can come down in fields where they are ingested by the grazing animals.
- The lanterns can also fall into fields where the frames are chopped into silage and hay during harvest. Small needle-like splinters then enter the animals’ feed where they can cause internal bleeding and great pain.
- There is also the risk of animals becoming entangled in frames and then injuring themselves as they panic and attempt to get themselves free.
Can you still buy Chinese lanterns?
An estimated 200,000 sky lanterns are sold and released each year in the UK. As their popularity has grown over recent years, so too has the devastating effect they cause to wildlife and the environment.
What happens to Chinese lanterns when they burn out?
As long as they stay in their upright position, sky lanterns will burn out and only fall to earth once they are extinguished. However, if they are tilted in the air due to wind currents or knocking into something, the paper around the frame can catch alight and pose a serious fire risk. A risk which has caused damage to property and also animal life.