Fire officials warn about sky lantern use - WKRN News 2

Fire officials warn about sky lantern use

Posted: Updated: May 28, 2014 10:46 PM

As summer draws closer, the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office is reminding the public of laws concerning sky lanterns.

The sky lanterns, also known as Chinese lanterns, are unmanned airborne paper lanterns fueled by a flame that resemble small hot air balloons.

Fire officials say the sky lanterns can be dangerous to property and life.

Tennessee lawmakers in 2011 passed legislation stating the lanterns are special fireworks, and can be purchased and used only by individuals with a professional license. These include a certified flame effect operator, certified outdoor display operator or certified proximate pyrotechnic operator.

Carl Peas, an assistant fire marshal for Murfreesboro Fire & Rescue, said as nice as those lanterns may be to look at, they can also be dangerous.

“You’re basically lighting an ignitable device and letting it float off into the atmosphere, not knowing where it might go,” said Peas.

The sky lanterns are also banned at Bonnaroo this year, which kicks off in two weeks in Manchester, Tennessee.

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