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Elmhurst Fire Department warns residents about sky lantern hazards

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013 1:24 p.m. CDT

ELMHURST – The Elmhurst Fire Department reminds residents that sky lanterns are not only dangerous, but illegal.

Earlier this year, the Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshal officially banned sky lanterns, aerial luminaries and floating lanterns, which are often used in celebration. The State Fire Marshal's Consumer Fireworks Review Committee voted to put them on the Prohibited Consumer Fireworks list.

Small candles or fuel cells fill the lantern with hot air when lit. The hot air forces the lantern to rise. They are known to travel up to several miles from where they were originally released and when they land they pose a severe fire risk and threat to animals.

The Federal Aviation Association has also raised concerns about floating lanterns, because they can be sucked into plane engines.

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