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Minimise The Risk From Chinese or Sky Lanterns

Last updated  30 May 2018

Please think very carefully before using Chinese or Sky lanterns – once lit and released you will have no control over their direction or where they land – this could be on your roof or a neighbours’ and cause a serious fire which could have very grim consequences.

Sky Lantern photo by wang-xi-502272-unsplash web banner

Prevent damage to you, your family and property follow these safety tips:

  • Consider the risk of fire caused by incorrect handling, fuel remaining, or changes to the recommended flight or weather conditions;
  • Water or other extinguishing facility should be available at the launch site, as lanterns or clothing may ignite if the correct launch procedures are not followed
  • Keep the launch area clear of flammable materials;
  • Children and other observers must maintain a safe distance upwind of the launch area;
  • Two adults are required to correctly launch each lantern;
  • Do not attempt to launch damaged lanterns - be aware that writing messages on the paper can cause damage;
  • Do not smoke whilst handling lanterns;
  • Ensure sufficient clearance to avoid obstacles such as trees, power lines or buildings;
  • Avoid launching near roads, especially major roads or motorways;
  • Avoid crops, especially in dry conditions;
  • Avoid areas where confusion may arise with distress signals;
  • Do not launch within 5 miles of any airport;
  • Do not launch in wind speeds in excess of 5 mph;
  • Check wind direction before launch;
  • Be aware of any other local conditions that could affect launch or landing safety such as thatched buildings, crops or dry heathland;
  • Do not tie anything to the lantern to as this may cause instability which could lead to the lantern igniting.


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