A proposal to ban sky lanterns in London has been grounded, at least for now.
Council voted to refer the idea back to the Community and Protective Services Committee, after the London Fire Department requested the ban be added to the fireworks by-law.
London Fire officials had previous said they’re receiving more calls from people regarding the use of sky lanterns.
The small hot air balloons are designed with an opening on the bottom where a small flame is suspended, allowing the lantern to rise and float in the air.
Because they are no longer under anyone’s direct control once in flight, the concern is that depending where they land, they may create a fire.
In early 2014, sky lanterns caused a shrub fire in Newmarket.
In June 2013, sky lanterns caused a massive plastics recycling plant fire in in the United Kingdom (Smethwick, West Midlands) which took four days to extinguish and caused an
estimated $9-million damage.
In addition, they have also started wildfires in Utah, Colorado, and North Carolina, U.S.A.
Health Canada studied sky lanterns after the Ontario Fire Marshall requested the federal agency take action, but it refused arguing they did not pose a threat.
Research shows that sky lanterns have been banned in many nearby cities:
Several countries such as Austria, parts of Germany, the UK, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Brazil, and Australia have also jumped on board to ban them, as have some Canadian provinces including Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.