Firefighters urge residents not to use sky lanterns following near miss in Winsford

Sky lantern near two cars

Firefighters are warning people about the dangers of sky lanterns following a near miss in Winsford. 

Over recent weeks there has been a number of social media posts encouraging people to set off lanterns as a way of recognising the outstanding work of NHS workers during the coronavirus pandemic. 

However, the campaign has not been supported by the NHS and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging people not to use sky lanterns. 

The warning comes after an incident near Swanlow Lane in Winsford in which a sky lantern landed in a residential street. 

Thankfully the lantern landed between two cars. 

Had it landed any closer to the vehicles, it could have caused a fire. 

Nick Evans, Head of Prevention at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: "I understand that people want to recognise the fantastic work of the NHS and all our other key workers, but there are much safer ways of doing so than setting off sky lanterns. 

“Sky lanterns are made of tissue paper and bamboo with a thin wire framework, meaning that they are extremely flammable. 

“Once they have been lit and set off they cannot be controlled, so you never know where and when they will land. 

“They can rise up to 1,000 feet and travel distances of up to two miles. 

“If a sky lantern does cause a fire, you could actually be creating more work for the NHS rather than celebrating the work they are already doing. 

“It could see also firefighters spending valuable time dealing with what could be a complex and large scale incident. This is time they would much rather spend supporting vulnerable people in the community, as part of Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service’s response to Covid-19.”

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Sky lantern near two cars