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17005 – Sky Lanterns

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Ref: FOI/17005.


I am writing to confirm that the West Midlands Fire Service has now completed its search for the information you requested on 15th January 2017.

Please find below a summary of our findings.


I bought recently some sky lanterns to make a surprise and I just had a look online and read about some ban. It is illegal to release sky lantern


There is not a ban, nor is it illegal to release sky lanterns.


There is any place where it is possible to do it safely?


To release the sky lantern safely, follow the instructions on the packet.

Whilst lighting and launch are mostly in control of the user, the actual flight path and end destination are not.  There’s no guarantee that the fuel cell will completely out and cooled when the lantern eventually lands, and any contact with a flammable surface could result in a fire.

West Midlands Fire Service doesn’t support the use of these and we urge members of the public and event organisers not to use them


I live in Solihull but my plan was to go somewhere else, probably south of England. . Should I refer to local fire organizations?


Normally, the Fire Service are not informed of this type of activity, however, it may be prudent to check with the local authority if you are intending to go away for the surprise.

If you have any queries about this email, please contact me.  Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications. If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your request and wish to make a complaint or request a review of our decision please write to The Public Relations Department, West Midlands Fire Service, 99 Vauxhall Road, Birmingham, B7 4HW