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As some of our valued customers may be aware, BBC Countryfile aired a feature on Sky Lanterns on Sunday July 23rd 2011. Sky Lanterns are growing in popularity, that is a fact, and we are aware that there are some concerns regarding their use. We would therefore like to share our comments on the report.

We were very dissapointed that the BBC chose to report on Sky Lanterns in such a negative way. Sky Lanterns are perfectly safe to use providing the instructions for use are followed correctly. All of our Sky Lanterns include comprehensive safety instructions, which are to be followed to ensure safe use. One of the Sky Lanterns launched in the BBC Countryfile programme had been tethered to the ground. This dangerous and definitely not recommended. We were surprised that they should choose to demonstrate the lantern in this way, and not follow the recommended detailed instructions for use. As a consequence of this method, the wind caught the tethered lantern, which in turn caused the paper to rip from the bamboo ring,  resulting in the burning fuel cell falling back down to earth seperately from the lantern. If the Sky Lantern had not been tethered this simply would not have happened. As the bamboo ring was tethered to the ground, the most likely outcome was that the bamboo ring and fuel cell would be ripped from the lantern. We consider this to have been a very unfair reresentation of the proper use of a Sky Lantern.

Later on in the program a safety test was carried out, by the Fire Department, to show what the likelihood would be of a Sky Lantern returning back to earth whilst still lit. The Fire Department lit the Sky Lantern and carried out the test in a confined space within a building. After a period of time, the Sky Lantern came back down whilst the flame was still very slightly lit. This again is not a fair representation of the proper use of a Sky Lantern. Our Sky Lanterns are designed to fly at around 1200 – 1500ft. We use a much thicker paper, than the majority of companies selling lanterns in the UK, which ensures heat is retained to allow a quick and problem free ascent of the lantern. This in turn ensures that the Sky Lanterns will not return to the ground whilst still lit. Tests have been carried out on this multiple times and we always batch test our Sky Lanterns to ensure they meet the same high standard.

Lanterns do seem to be getting some bad press at the moment yet we know they bring joy and happiness to 1000′s of our customers each year. We have received hundreds of reviews on our website regarding the use of our Sky Lanterns, and we are confident that we supply the best quality lantern on the market which, if used correctly, will cause no issues.

We would appreciate your feedback, so please leave comments!

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This entry was posted on Friday, July 29th, 2011 at 3:55 PM and is filed under General News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

John Metcalf on August 2, 2011 at 6:27 PM said:

The BBC seems to have it in for Sky Lanterns. Did you see tonight’s segment on The One Show? Most of the examples show sub-standard lanterns or irresponsible use.

Sky Lanterns need to be regulated. Sub-standard lanterns are dangerous and shouldn’t be sold in the U.K.

The minimum requirement should be at least flame retardant paper, wire free, pre-attached fuel cell, adequate instructions and independently tested.

Lewis on August 2, 2011 at 7:44 PM said:

We agree! A standard on Sky Lanterns would be a great move. We know our Sky Lanterns are second to none so we would fully support that.

Thank you for your feedback! It’s much appreci

Well said Lewis and John!

The Countryfile piece was without a doubt biased and the test conditions were both unsafe and unfair.

Several manufacturers exist who provide safe lanterns and this should have been highlighted in the film. Like Lewis we’d support a standard on lanterns and developed our range and our packaging with Trading Standards.

We have complained to both the BBC and OFCOM but are yet to receive a reply… I’ll keep you posted.



 

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