Cleveland Fire Brigade has issued Chinese Lantern safety advice ahead of Chinese New Year celebrations. Since 2009 there have been 11 Chinese lantern incidents throughout Cleveland.
“With Chinese New Year almost upon us I appeal to local people to think about the potential consequences of igniting a sky lantern.
“The huge fire at Smethwick in the West Midlands last year is a reminder to us all of the devastation they can cause. As a Brigade we will continue to lobby the Government to introduce legislation to ban sky lanterns.
“Once they are lit and travel into the sky, no-one has any control over where and when they will land. They pose a serious risk to property, wildlife, the environment and people’s lives and the sooner they are banned, the better.”
– PHIL LANCASTER Cleveland Fire Brigade’s Director of Community Protection
SAFETY TIPS FROM CLEVELAND FIRE BRIGADE
-Lanterns must be used by responsible adults only
-Water should always be on hand in case the lanterns catch fire
-The launch area needs to be kept clear of combustible materialsDamaged lanterns must not be used
-Ensure sufficient clearance to avoid obstacles such as trees, powerlines or buildings
-Do not launch near roads, especially major roads or motorways
-Do not launch within five miles of an airport
-Do not launch in wind speeds in excess of five miles per hour (mph)Do not smoke whilst handling lanterns
The Fire Brigades Union has branded the decision to approve cuts to Tyne & Wear Fire & Rescue service as 'criminal' and says it will ballot members on possible strike action. The green light was given at a Fire Authority meeting this lunchtime after a number of options were explored.
The latest strike action by fire service crews, in a dispute about pensions, has passed largely without incident.
It began at 7pm on Christmas Eve and ended at midnight.
County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service has reported attending three incidents during this five hour period.
These were a small fire in Darlington, a burst water pipe at a family home, and a false alarm.
Once again our resilience plans have worked well and I would like to thank people in County Durham and Darlington for taking extra care especially when there are extra pressures at Christmas time. During this most recent period of industrial action, as during the six previous strikes since September, we were able to provide people in County Durham and Darlington Borough with a professional response.We hope that our efforts to warn and inform people to take extra care in the build-up to this strike will carry through to the next period of industrial action, on New Year's Eve."
– Stuart Errington, deputy chief fire officer, County Durham and Darlington Fire & Rescue
County Durham & Darlington Fire Service is urging people to take extra care ahead of a Fire Brigade Union strike this evening. Resources will be reduced for five hours between 7pm to midnight on Christmas Eve.
It's part of the latest round of national strikes by the union in an ongoing dispute with the government about changes to pensions. The next strike is on New Year's Eve.
Householders are advised to check their smoke alarms, drivers are urged to stay safe by slowing down and leaving ample space behind the vehicle in front and those people spending time in the kitchen are reminded not to leave pans unattended and not to cook after drinking alcohol which can be extremely dangerous.
– Stuart Errington Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service