Fire damage to Flintshire property caused by paper lanternPosted 17/09/2012 14:10:36
North Wales Fire and Rescue Service is warning of the dangers posed by Chinese paper lanterns after firefighters were called to reports of fire damage to a property in Flintshire.
A crew from Deeside was called to the property on Hilltop Close, Ewloe at 09.18hrs on Saturday 15 September. The fire was already out on arrival but the owner had awoken to find her conservatory smoke logged.
On inspection it was found that a Chinese lantern had landed on the conservatory roof and burned through the plastic structure, leaving debris on the floor.
Chinese lanterns are used at celebratory events and are made of paper. They are able to float through the air due to their light weight, fuelled by the heat generated by the small candle or oil inside.
Paul Whybro, Community Safety Manager for North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: "These lanterns are popular, but present a significant hazard and therefore we are appealing to the public to be careful when handling them.
"This lady was lucky as the incident could have been much more serious. The lantern burned through her conservatory whilst she was asleep at night and had been smouldering for some hours - it was pure luck that the hot wax fell onto the floor and did not set any furniture alight. Her home could easily have gone up in flames.
"Please follow our advice. Make sure that no one is standing underneath when a lantern is set up as there is a possibility that oil or wax can tip over and cause injury. Take account of the prevailing wind and ensure the lantern will burn out before it can land on nearby property or farmland - they can also be a danger to crops and livestock. Ask yourself whether the risk is really worth it before you set one alight.
"And always ensure you have a working smoke alarm to protect yourself from a fire in the home. Free home fire safety checks can be booked with North Wales Fire and Rescue Service by calling freephone 0800 169 1234 or log on to www.freesmokealarm.co.uk."