While Chinese (sky) lanterns have long been popular for celebrations and memorials, the Fire and Rescue Service actively discourages their use due to them being both a fire hazard and a danger to wildlife, pets and people.
We do not believe these should be used under any circumstances given the unnecessary risk they place on our communities and demand on our resources, and this is reflected in the approach taken by the National Fire Chiefs Council – click here for more.
There is no way for the user to know how far the lantern will travel, for how long, and where it will end up. There is also no guarantee that the paper outer is fire retardant, or that the fuel cell will be fully extinguished and cooled when the lantern does descend, increasing the chances of a fire developing if it comes into contact with a combustible surface.
For these reasons the lighting of sky lanterns is strongly discouraged.
This is especially so in areas with standing crops, buildings with thatched roofs, areas of dense woodland and areas of heath or bracken, especially in dry conditions.