Sky Lanterns

Traditionally used in Chinese and Thai celebrations, Chinese / Sky Lanterns have been used for thousands of years - it was believed that wishes written on lanterns would rise up to the heavens.

As they become more popular for celebrating weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, Diwali, bonfire night or any other special events, we would like to offer the following advice to help you stay safe.

With no control over the actual flight path once lit and released, the end destination cannot be predicted. There is no guarantee that the fuel cell will be completely out and cooled when the lantern eventually descends and any contact with a flammable surface could result in a fire developing.

To help prevent damage to you, your family and property here are a few guidelines;

  • 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 5 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

We would ask people to think carefully before using Chinese/Sky lanterns – remember once lit and released there is no control over its direction or where it lands, and this could have very serious consequences.