The NSRI are urging the public not to set off Chinese Lanterns on Guy Fawkes and not to set off red distress flares and to ensure your pets are kept safe and comforted by their owners during Guy Fawkes on Thursday, 05th November.
Amongst a host of risks, including the danger of igniting a fire and a danger to aviation, Chinese Lanterns are often mistaken as red distress flares and account for numerous NSRI emergency activations where members of the public report a red distress flare which later turns out to have been Chinese Lanterns.
NSRI are urging the public not to set off Chinese Lanterns.
Red distress flares are by law intended for life threatening emergencies only and NSRI urge the public not to set off red distress flares except to indicate a life threatening emergency.
Chinese lanterns, also known as sky lanterns, are illegal according to a 2014 press release sent out by Cape Town‘s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.
Alderman Smith has said that Chinese lanterns are illegal and a fire hazard. The device contains a candle inside a paper or silk housing. The candle is lit and the heat generated causes the device to rise into the air. The device then remains airborne until the candle burns out and the remainder of the device then falls to the ground.
“If the device falls amongst vegetation, it can cause a runaway vegetation fire. This could occur hundreds of metres away from where the device was let off. In addition, once airborne and floating through the sky, these lanterns give the false impression that a distress signal has been discharged with marine flares. This may result in the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) launching a search for non-existent people in distress, which is a great waste of resources,” said Alderman Smith.
The Community Fire Safety By-law clearly states that a person may not cause or permit a flame-emitting device, such as a candle, lantern or torch, to be used in a manner which is likely to create a fire hazard or other threatening danger.
“… vegetation is generally very dry at this time of the year, which increases the risk of runaway fires. In 2006 we saw a vegetation fire on Table Mountain which was caused by a cigarette butt – so one can only imagine what these lanterns could do. I am appealing to residents to refrain from this dangerous and careless practice,” added Alderman Smith.
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Article source: http://mype.co.za/new/guy-fawkes-hazards/55684/2015/11