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Despite being used for hundreds of years, 2013 has been a very up and down year for Chinese Sky lanterns – no pun intended.

In May, following its in depth review of Chinese Sky lanterns, DEFRA reported that “There is very little evidence linking sky lanterns with risks to consumer safety” and went on to conclude that “The impact (of Chinese Sky lanterns) is very small and confined to only a small number of isolated incidents.”  This was good news for Chinese Sky lanterns because the findings removed a cloud of uncertainty from the industry and no doubt reassured consumers too.

However, shortly after these findings were published there was a Recycling plant fire apparently linked to a Sky lantern and some negative press.  But the government has rejected the inevitable calls for a ban from some quarters with a Downing Street spokesman saying there “needed to be a proportionate response” and “the number of fires caused by Chinese lanterns was very small”.  This is absolutely correct. In our view too, trying to legislate for every eventuality and implementing blanket bans is not the answer, rather having quality products and sensible use is what needs to be encouraged.

So what is to be learned from these ups and downs?

As with many consumer goods, there are products of very different quality on the market and product quality is crucial to both Sky lantern flight performance and safety.  Sky lanterns are essentially mini hot air balloons and the better they capture and retain heat, the higher they will go and the longer they will fly which is the key factor for ensuring that the fuel cell is fully extinguished by the time they glide back down to earth.

Since good quality lanterns are made from much higher quality paper, this means they retain more heat, fly higher and for longer and are therefore perfectly safe.  Furthermore, because the paper used is stronger it is also less likely to get torn in the excitement of the launch which again ensures that the Sky lanterns will perform as they should.  A damaged lantern will leak hot air, the flight time will be reduced and it should never be launched.

Put simply, cheap low quality lanterns cannot be relied on to perform as well as their good quality counterparts and unfortunately it is the reputation of the good products which gets tarnished unnecessarily. Consequently a key lesson from recent events is to avoid buying cheap.  By only using good quality lanterns and following the recommended safety instructions (see 10 Ways To Stay Safe With Sky Lanterns) you can relax and enjoy a magical experience knowing that you are doing so safely.  And by effectively voting poor quality products out of the market with your wallet, you can help ensure that the pleasure gained from Chinese Sky lanterns will continue long into the future.

Please be assured that Night Sky Lanterns has always and continues to only supply top quality Sky lanterns – it is in everyone’s best interest.  Have fun.  Be safe.

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Tags: chinese lanternsChinese Sky LanternsConsumer SafetyDEFRAProduct Safetysky lanterns
This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 20th, 2013 at 2:56 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.


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