Wells Fire Station urges residents to refrain from setting off sky lanterns as a thank you
By Tim Lethaby
16th Jul 2021 | Local News
Wells Fire Station is asking members of the public to refrain from letting off sky lanterns this evening (April 16) as part of the thanks for key workers.
Firefighters at the station have shared the Facebook post by Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service urging residents to not let off the lanterns, as has been suggested by some.
A spokesperson said: "Please do not set off sky lanterns and fireworks in support of our amazing carers.
"Lanterns are a fire hazard posing a risk to livestock, agriculture, thatched properties, and hazardous material sites.
"Please support our NHS and carers by clapping. All emergency services are currently under increased pressure due to coronavirus.
"The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) has published a message warning that a campaign to light sky lanterns is misguided."
NFCC chair Roy Wilsher said: "While I fully understand people wanting to show their support to the NHS, I would encourage people to find a different way to do this.
"NFCC does not advocate the use of sky lanterns and we do not believe they should be used under any circumstances.
"All emergency services are currently under unprecedented pressure due to Covid-19, and I am concerned this type of activity could not only put additional pressure on the fire service, but further strain on the NHS.
"If a sky lantern causes a fire, it could see firefighters spending valuable time dealing with what could be a complex and large-scale incident.
"Time which could be spent supporting vulnerable people in the community, as part of the fire services response to Covid-19."
A fire in the West Midlands caused by a lantern saw 39 fire appliances and more than 200 firefighters in attendance to tackle it over a number of days.