COUNCIL chiefs hope a ban on sky lanterns will alert people to their potential danger.
Warwickshire County Council has outlawed people from launching the lanterns, also known as Chinese lanterns or Kongming lanterns, from council-owned land such as country parks at Burton Dassett and Ryton Pools.
The move – which comes just ahead of new year when many lanterns are launched – follows concerns from Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service over the threat of fires caused by lanterns such as the one at a recycling plant in Smethwick back in 2013, which burned for three days and caused over £6 million worth of damage.
County community fire safety spokesman Moreno Francioso said: “We are really pleased the council has supported our ban of sky lanterns.
“We have been concerned at the fire risk posed by their use for sometime now. We welcome the support in taking steps to ban them from council-owned land.
“We know this won’t stop people launching them from their back gardens, but we do hope that people will now think twice about the potential risks before using them.”
Concern has also been raised about the potential danger to wildlife – from trapping them to the risk of them eating the remains of a lantern – and also the problem of littering when they land.
County community protection spokesman Coun Les Caborn said: “While these lanterns may look nice, when you launch them, they can cause untold damage to our countryside and wildlife. I hope other residents follow our lead to ensure the safety of our communities.”