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Chinese or sky lanterns

We would strongly advise against the use of Chinese or sky lanterns. They are a serious fire risk as you do not know where they may end up. If you are going to use these lanterns, please ensure you follow our advice below.

  • 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 five 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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