Monday, February 25, 2013

Sky Lanterns - Don't Get Burned

As summer approaches, cities begin to think about special events.  Often times, these celebrations may involve fireworks, or something similar called "Sky Lanterns."  Sky lanterns are made of paper, wire and a small fuel pad.  When the inside is lit, the heat helps to raise them skyward like a small hot air balloon.  Essentially, they are a type of floating fire ball that goes wherever the wind may carry it. 
Although sky lanterns may look beautiful when released in a group, they are ILLEGAL in the State of Minnesota.  Sky lanterns have already caused fires around the globe, and even took the life of a 10 year old boy.  A sky lantern may land when the flame is weak but still burning, so there is significant fire potential if they land on flammable vegetation or buildings. 
The bottom line is that it is illegal to sell or use them in Minnesota.  Doing so could result in up to 90 days in jail, or a fine of not more than $1000, or both.  For more information, go to the following link to access a memo from the State Fire Marshal. 
State Fire Marshal

By Jackie Torgerson

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