Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Floating Chinese Lanterns also known as Chinese Sky Lanterns and Wish Lanterns are an increasingly popular item at local celebrations that have some inherent dangers that people must be aware of. The lantern has a fuel cell that heats the air that is then trapped in the lantern (balloon) which causes lift.
According to the manufacturers website, "their sparkle can be seen flying up in the air for up to 20 minutes and will travel several miles in distance...".
Remember, you control the launch point but when you let go of these floating fireballs you have NO CONTROL over where it lands and its condition! They can travel several miles and float for twenty minutes. The manufacturer states that it will no longer be on fire, but are you willing to gamble on that?
Please read the following from Brockport Fire Chief, Mike Henry about a recent call involving Floating Chinese Lanterns.
Last night 7/21/12 we had a call for Embers on Sherwood Drive in Clarkson for the report of embers falling from the sky into people's front yards. Just prior to the call I was contacted by a past chief that someone was sending floating lanterns from the East Avenue area just south of the call.
We found the source which was behind Sara's Market on East Avenue where a wedding reception as being held. The mother of the groom told me that they sent off 10 of these and that the instruction on the packaging said they would burn up in the air. I asked them why they thought sending floating fire balls into the air was a good idea during a drought.
These things are all over the internet and I see people using them a lot when camping. Not sure if these are on your radar but this looks like something that could cause some damage if these land in the wrong place.
In addition to the fire danger there have been injuries caused by the flaming debris falling on people. There is a link to a story about a young man who was burned badly along with a photo.
Floating Chinese Lanterns majestically moving across the sky are, no doubt, an attractive sight but the Hamlin area has drought conditions, as our brown lawns and fields prove. Please take a moment to think of the responsibility you have when you launch a fire ball into the sky to land...where, miles away. On what, you don't know.