Flying sky lanterns are not fireworks, but they have the power to create even better visual effects than fireworks. As fire is involved in lighting them, many people feel that they can cause fires. In fact, some senators in the US have tried to get such lanterns banned during ceremonies and celebrations in their towns. But, in reality, sky lanterns are safer than most fireworks as they are made from fire-resistant materials.
The fire in the lanterns heats up the air, and the hot air collects in the lanterns. This hot air pushes the lantern skywards. Once the fire is extinguished, the air within the lantern cools down, and the lantern gently floats down to the ground. As the fire lanterns come downwards only after the fire has burned out, they do not constitute a fire hazard. And, by taking proper precautions while lighting the lanterns, you can guarantee that no damage is caused by these lanterns.
Dos of Launching Sky Lanterns
Buy Branded Sky Lanterns: If you buy them from a well known store or online web store that specializes in selling such lanterns, you minimize the chances of anything going wrong. On the other hand, buying a sky lantern which is even slightly damaged can have disastrous consequences.
Choose your Ground Wisely: An open space would suit your lantern decoration a lot better than a crowded space. Make sure that you keep a reasonable distance from skyscrapers. Also, most places have laws against flying the lanterns within 5 miles of airports. So, make sure that you are not close to any airport.
Let Emergency Services Know in Advance: If you plan to launch too many sky lanterns at the same time, you must notify emergency services in advance. This is of special significance in coastal areas as people may mistake the gliding lanterns for emergency flares.
Take Precautions: There is hardly any chance of the lanterns catching fire while they are in the sky. Things can go wrong only when you are lighting them. It would be best to keep sand or water close to ensure that there is no fire if something goes wrong while lighting the lanterns.
Don'ts of Launching Sky Lanterns
Ensure there isn't too much Wind: If the wind speed is more than 5-7 miles per hour, you may want to consider shelving your flying lanterns celebrations. High winds can take the lanterns far away, and this could be dangerous.
Keep Away from Kids: While flying sky lanterns are easy to light and harmless, it would be a good idea to keep them away from children. If a child is lighting the lanterns, make sure that a responsible adult helps him and guides him.
Don't Smoke or Drink while Launching Lanterns: Lighting flying lanterns requires some attention and concentration. If you are drunk, you may end up burning the lantern instead of lighting the wick. Smoking while launching the lanterns gives birth to the possibility of starting a fire. So, avoid that too.
Don't Wear/Carry Inflammable Stuff: While lighting the lanterns, you will use fire. So, it makes sense avoid wearing clothes that easily catch fire. Also, keeping any stuff that can catch fire close by while lighting the lanterns is not a good idea either.
As long as you follow the simple dos and don'ts of flying sky lantern lighting, you will minimize the risk of fires and enjoy a safe and joyous celebration.
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