Fire brigade issues safety advice for Chinese New Year

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service is urging people to celebrate Chinese New Year safely and to remember that sky lanterns pose a serious fire risk.

The brigade is backing the Fire Kills campaign and is strongly advising people against the use of sky lanterns.

It says whilst they are undoubtedly popular, the potential damage they can cause is significant.

Experts say they use the heat of a naked flame to float, posing a significant fire risk to dryer areas, thatched properties and hazardous material sites. They also pose a danger to livestock and agriculture.

We don't want to ruin anyone's fun but it's important that people are aware of the dangers sky lanterns pose and the devastating impact they could have. We would strongly advise against using sky lanterns, but if you do insist on their use, please refrain from releasing them in areas with standing crops, buildings and thatched roofs, areas of dense woodland and areas of heath or bracken, especially in dry weather.

Area Manager Gary Oakford

There is evidence of sky lanterns causing fires, being mistaken for distress flares, misleading aircrafts and killing livestock.

A fire at a zoo in western Germany, which was thought to have been caused by sky lanterns, killed more than 30 animals in the first minutes of 2020.