What are the dangers of Chinese lanterns?
I took this photograph for a publication. I always thought that the Chinese lanterns look very pretty until I came across an article which highlighted the dangers of it.
If you have never used it, then let me explain how it works. While someone holds the ring you light the pad underneath the lantern. You then wait or the air inside the lantern to arm up and you will feel the lantern getting lighter and lighter. It is then ready for the lift off and you watch it go higher and higher and drift in the sky.
So, what are dangers? Well, there are two key issues that one needs to know of, as the publication highlights. First, you don’t know where it might land when the fuel begins to run out. The fuel pad might still be lit. So, it can cause the fire if it lands in a dry wooded area. Second, the wire hoop at the base of the lantern and the fireproof string holding the fuel pad can be hazardous for wildlife. They can get tangled in it.
In the image above, it might appear as if I let go of the Chinese lantern to take a photograph. No, I didn’t. The deadline was tight and I couldn’t arrange an assistant to hold it for me. So, I used two strings and bulldog clips to restrain its elevation as you’ll see in the image below. I removed these in Photoshop. Easy!
By the way, I came across this article by RSPCA, which is very informative: https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/litter/chineselanterns