With summer festival and wedding season ramping up, Bristol Fire Rescue and the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office reminds Tennesseans that sky lanterns – which are unmanned airborne paper lanterns fueled by flame, cause numerous hazards when they fall from the sky. These hazards include the ignition of combustible materials such as grass, trees, rooftops, or other materials as well as a possible livestock hazard when animals consume the remains of the lanterns. Due to concerns such as these, the State of Tennessee has banned the use of such lanterns by individuals and can only be operated by licensed fireworks professionals.
“In an effort to reduce fire dangers in our community we are asking that the public not use sky lanterns, also known as Chinese lanterns or wish lanterns. The problem is that, once the lantern is released, there is no control over where they land” said Assistant Fire Chief/Fire Marshall Jack Spurgeon.
This time of year also poses an additional hazard from sky lanterns because many areas of Tennessee might be experiencing drier conditions that may intensify the risk of damage from sky lanterns.
Bristol Fire Rescue proudly promotes fire/life safety and emergency preparedness through a myriad of programs year round. For more information on Sky Lanterns or any other public safety concerns please contact Assistant Fire Chief Jack Spurgeon at (423) 989-5701.