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August 20, 2012
For immediate release

Fire Marshal bans flying lanterns

Environment, Labour and Justice

Under the authority of the Fire Prevention Act, Provincial Fire Marshal Dave Rossiter has issued a ban on the sale and use of flying lanterns in Prince Edward Island, effective immediately.

“These lanterns, which are set on fire and launched into the sky, pose a serious safety risk to both people and property,” said Mr. Rossiter.

Flying lanterns are also known as sky lanterns, wish lanterns, Kongming or Chinese lanterns, fire balloons, and by other names. This ban applies to any device in which a fuel cell is lit with an open flame in the base, heating the air to elevate the lantern into the sky.

“Flying lanterns are small hot air balloons or floating bags of fire. Once it is airborne, the lantern follows the wind currents and there is no control over where or when it will come down,” said Mr. Rossiter. “The device could land and start a fire on structures, in grain fields, grasslands, dunes or in forested areas. The risk to public safety is very high.”

Retailers are requested to remove these devices from store shelves immediately. Islanders and visitors are asked to cease all use of these lanterns.

The sale and use of flying lanterns is banned under sections 6.1(b) and 6.2(b) of the Fire Prevention Act and section 10.1.5 of NFPA 1 Uniform Fire Code which states: “The Fire Marshal shall have the authority to prohibit any or all open flames or other sources of ignition where circumstances make such conditions hazardous.”

Failure to comply may result in fines ranging from $200 to $1,000, with an additional fine of $100 every day thereafter. In addition, a person causing a fire using these devices may be liable for damages arising from the fire.

For more information contact the Fire Marshal’s Office at 368-4869.

Media Contact: Connie McNeill
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