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2016

#4 - 45th parallel
Spark got to visit the 45th parallel while in Northern Michigan recently, which is often the halfway point between the Equator and the North Pole. At some point during the year, on the summer solstice, the sun is visible there for almost 16 hours!

Sparky turned 65 on March 18, 2016, and we have been pulling out all the stops to help him celebrate! He’s created a bucket list of 65 activities and events he’d like to accomplish from now through October. As he checks them off his list, we’ll make sure to share them with you. Some of Sparky’s wishes are pretty lofty, while others are just fun or a bit silly. Check in weekly to see where he goes and what he’s up to!

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Attending the Vision 20/20 Symposium this month left me feeling simultaneously energized, inspired, and quite frankly, a little exhausted.  My head was filled with new connections and ideas, and my to-do list had grown exponentially.  Yet contradictory to the natural progression following a conference, after settling into my regular work routine and even bouncing to other projects, I found myself continuing to draw on the inspiration that I took away from the symposium rather than gradually losing momentum.  One particular segment stood out to me because it so clearly puncuated the reason we are doing the important work we are doing.

That segment came in the form of a closing presentation in which the Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer introduced a young woman named Monique (pictured above).   Monique had the courage to share the story of how her family survived a fire very recently.  Her humble delivery of the events that led up to the fire, and the honest account of the fear that she had experienced resonated with the audience.  A photo flashed of her two beautiful daughters furthering the impact as well, but the most significant piece of her story to me was the simple fact that the fire department had visited her home just prior to this horrifying incident.  The Philadelphia Fire Department had provided smoke alarms for Monique’s home and had talked her, and her family, through the elements of a home escape plan.  A plan that weeks later literally saved their lives.  Her ability to be with us at the symposium and share this tale was all because of the great work that is being done through smoke alarm installation programs like that of the Philadelphia Fire Department and so many others.  And like the story of the star fish being tossed back into the ocean by the young boy, it surely made a difference to this one. The visit from the fire department made a profound difference to this home and this particular family.

NPFA offers an array of resources to support smoke alarm education and installation programs at Smoke Alarm Central on our website.  Visit as often as you’d like and together we can keep up the momentum!

PuppyToday, March 23rd, is National Puppy Day, a special day to celebrate the magic and unconditional love that puppies can bring to our lives. Founded in 2006 by Pet Lifestyle Expert Colleen Paige, National Puppy Day is considered an international holiday. As puppies and their owners are celebrated, let’s also keep in mind fire safety for all of our pets.

Pets are curious. They may bump into, turn on, or knock over cooking equipment.

  • Keep pets away from candles, lamps, and space heaters.
  • Keep pets away from stoves and countertops.
  • Some pets are chewers. Watch them to make sure they don’t chew through electrical cords.
  • Have working smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of the home. Test them at least once a month.

The Pet Fire Safety tip sheet offers a number of other suggestions for being careful with our pets.

  Carbonmonoxidecoverhttp://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb08cc9019970d-pi

According to the Centers for Disease Control, over 20,000 Americans visit an emergency room each year due to carbon monoxide poisoning. With National Poison Prevention Week, March 20-26, 2016 -it is a great time to focus on awareness of common poisons.  Carbon monoxide is created when fossil fuels, do not burn completely.  CO gas can kill people and pets.    To protect yourself, install and maintain carbon monoxide alarms inside your home and install outside each separate sleeping area, on every level of the home.  

Here are a few things to consider in your household:

  • Many people are unaware of the dangers of portable generators. Generators should be outdoors in well ventilated areas away from the home.  The Consumer Product Safety Commission has tons of generator safety materials in the Safety Center.
  • If you have an attached garage makes sure to remove vehicles right after starting and never run a vehicle in a garage even with the door open.
  • With the spring coming, always use barbeque grills outside, away from all doors, windows, vents and other opening.

Your safety is so important this week and every week. Take steps to protect your family from CO hazards. To access free resources click on the Carbon Monoxide Community Toolkit

INFOGRAPHICAlmost every minute of every day, there’s a call to a poison control center because a young child got into medicine. There are more medicines in the home than ever before. Three times as many prescriptions are filled in the U.S. today than in 1980, and five times as many dollars are spent on over-the-counter medicine.

Safe Kids Worldwide™ has released a research report, titled, “The Rise of Medicine in the Home: Implications for Today’s Children,” that serves as a strong call to action for parents and caregivers to be vigilant about protecting their children from medicine poisoning.

The report shows that there is still an alarming number of young children being seen in emergency rooms due to medicine poisoning. The equivalent of about four school busloads of kids arrive at emergency rooms every day in the U.S. because a child accidentally got into medicine. That’s more than 59,000 kids each year.

In addition to the report, the public awareness campaign includes tips on what families can do to protect their kids.

Safety source marchThe March issue of Safety Source, NFPA's public education enewsletter, is now available for viewing. In this issue, you will find;

  • Sparky’s 65th Birthday!
  • Hoarding and Fire: Reducing the Risk safety tip sheet
  • A Compelling Case for Home Fire Sprinklers mini lesson
  • The dangers of sky lanterns
  • And more!

Don't miss an issue! Sign up now and be the first to get the latest information on happenings in the public education division, activities, fire statistics, trends, educational tips, Sparky the Fire Dog and more.

#1 - zamboni  #2 - jumbotron

Sparky the Fire Dog
 marks his 65th birthday on March 18th. Sparky is legendary. You’d be hard-pressed to find a child or adult who doesn’t know him, remember him, or recall his enduring life safety messages. For more than six decades, Sparky has worked hard to make communities safer from fire. He deserves to celebrate his milestone birthday in a big way, thus his 65th Birthday Bucket List campaign, which officially launches this week. In the coming months, Sparky will enjoy chance-of-a-lifetime excursions, must-have meetups, unforgettable learning opportunities, and cool collaborations with others who have made fire safety their mission.

Sparky recently jump-started his 65th Birthday Bucket List celebration when he ticked off two items on his wish list by riding the ice resurfacer and making his HDX screen debut during the Boston Bruin’s inaugural First Responder Night at TD Garden. The revelry will continue through Fire Prevention Week in October, and includes birthday benchmarks such as visiting the pyramids, zip lining, throwing out the first pitch at a Major League Baseball game, hanging with celebrities, meeting up with his long-time pal Smokey the Bear, going back to school, and other great experiences. Be sure to follow Sparky’s adventures on Twitter, Facebook through #Sparkys65th, and visit Sparky’s website for fire safety educational materials.

Hoarding Image

Hoarding is a condition in which a person has persistent difficulty discarding personal possessions. The large amount of possessions fill the home and prevent the normal use of space. Hoarding also increases the risk of fire and can put both residents and first responders in danger. NFPA’s newest safety tip sheet, which is customizable, explains the fire risk, describes the impact on first responders, and offers ways to help reduce the risk of fire injury.

 

The borough of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, is seeking to overhaul its property maintenance code to include a requirement for working carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in all homes - in both rentals and owner-occupied dwellings - if they either heat with fossil fuel or have an attached garage.


 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb08c9a818970d-800wi|border=0|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb08c9a818970d-800wi|alt=Carbon monoxide alarm image|style=margin: 0px 5px 5px 0px;|title=Carbon monoxide alarm image|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb08c9a818970d img-responsive!According to Public Opinion, the new requirement for carbon monoxide alarms comes as a result of concerns by borough officials and Chambersburg Fire Department Chief Howard Leonhard about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.


Estimating that about 75 percent of all homes and apartments in the borough have a fossil fuel source of heat, a fireplace or an attached garage, Borough Manager Jeffrey Stonehill called carbon monoxide "a very serious issue."


Carbon monoxide is a gas you can’t see, taste, or smell. It is often called “the invisible killer.” It is created when fossil fuels, such as kerosene, gasoline, coal, natural gas, propane, methane, or wood do not burn completely. CO gas can kill people or pets.


"Having these alarms is very, very important," Stonehill said. "It is the best protection against carbon monoxide poisoning."


While the alarms would be required for all homes, Stonehill said the biggest impact would be on landlords, who must provide the alarms for their rental units as soon as the ordinance becomes effective. Borough residents who own their homes are eligible for one free alarm from the borough's fire department.


 

NFPA recommends installing and maintaining CO alarms outside each separate sleeping area, on every level of the home, and in other locations as required by laws, codes, or standards. NFPA's community toolkit on carbon monoxide alarms provides free materials that can be used to encourage the public to take precautions regarding CO.


Council has authorized staff to advertise for the adoption of the ordinance, and a public hearing was set for May.


 

The Chambersburg Fire Department was awarded NFPA’s Rolf H. Jensen Memorial Public Education Grant in 2014 for its public safety campaign, “The Smoke Alarm is Sounding: Know What to Do,” which included smoke alarm installation, escape planningand fire drills, and the Remembering When™ program.


!http://i.zemanta.com/254378152_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/254378152_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Grant recipient to teach prompt response to smoke alarms

!http://i.zemanta.com/318126717_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/318126717_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!NFPA grant helps fire department find new emphasis for public education

!http://i.zemanta.com/262985251_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/262985251_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!NFPA Public Education grant application for 2015 is now available

 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d1af16ab970c-800wi|border=0|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d1af16ab970c-800wi|alt=Rememberingwhenbook|style=margin: 0px 5px 5px 0px;|title=Rememberingwhenbook|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d1af16ab970c img-responsive!The fire prevention message is having an impact in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Public safety spokesman Greg Buelow says that from 1964 to 1973, the city averaged 4.4 fire deaths a year. Now the average is less than one a year.


 

“We’re trying to educate people and look at that prevention arm of it instead of just responding,” says Buelow, who participated in the pilot evaluation of NFPA’s Remembering When™ program in five Iowa communities. In 2015 the Fire Protection Research Foundation partnered with the University of Iowa Injury Prevention Center to evaluate the fire and fall prevention program for older adults.


 

Much of the outreach efforts in Cedar Rapids are focused on two demographics–school-age children and older adults. The city’s successes in fire prevention are described in detail in an article in firehouse.com.


!http://i.zemanta.com/352378512_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/352378512_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Remembering When team featured in magazine

!http://i.zemanta.com/295180275_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/295180275_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Senior Center Celebrations offers opportunities for fire and fall prevention education

ExhibitEscape planning was one of the topics reviewed with residents who attended the recent Family Safety Day at The Fire Museum of Maryland. This is the third year the museum has conducted this event as part of its mission to educate the public about the fire service and fire prevention and safety. The day included exhibits, safety demonstrations, and the distribution of educational handouts.

 

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Fire officials from across Massachusetts made a public plea Friday for residents to check their smoke alarms after a recent spike in fatal fires in homes lacking working devices.


 

The Boston Globe reports that Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey stated that 19 people have died in residential fires since January 1 and in nearly 60 percent of those blazes, the home involved had no functioning smoke alarms. He also stated that nine people died in house fires in December.


“We’ve seen batteries sitting on top of the smoke alarm on a shelf, and the empty place or a bracket on the ceiling of a home where the smoke alarm used to be,” Ostroskey said during a news conference at Lynn Fire Department headquarters. “It is heartbreaking to me and to these fire officials gathered here this morning to know that so many people could have survived whatever fire struck their home, if they had had early warning of the danger, if they had had working smoke alarms,” he said.


 

NFPA’s Educational Messages Desk Reference provides a chapter on smoke alarms–reference material that fire department public educators and other safety advocates can use to present standardized safety information to the public.


    • Smoke alarms should be installed in every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement.

    • Test smoke alarms once a month using the test button.

    • Smoke alarms with nonreplaceable (long-life) batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the alarm chirps, warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm right away.

    • For smoke alarms that don’t have nonreplaceable (long-life) batteries, replace batteries at least once a year. If the alarm chirps, replace only the battery.

    • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.


 

The Desk Reference provides additional messaging on smoke alarms and a number of other fire and life safety concerns. In addition, Smoke Alarm Central and NFPA’s community toolkit on smoke alarms provide material to help motivate residents to install and maintain smoke alarms in the home.


!http://i.zemanta.com/346660265_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/346660265_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Take the 2015 Fire Prevention Week quiz to test your knowledge on smoke alarms
!http://i.zemanta.com/329729786_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/329729786_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Two recent home fire incidents underscore the life-saving power of working smoke alarms

 

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has named the Carrsville Volunteer Fire Department of Virginia the recipient of the 2016 Rolf H. Jensen Memorial Public Education Grant . The grant will support the department’s program, “Carrsville Loves Older Adults: Remembering When There’s Love There’s A Smoke Alarm.”


 

A collaborative effort between the fire service and community groups, the program is an effort to educate older adults in the Carrsville area of Isle of Wight about fire and fall prevention and installing smoke alarms in their homes. The program seeks to instill in residents the importance of having working smoke alarms and creating a home escape plan. NFPA’s Remembering When program will play a key role in the campaign.


 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d1accbde970c-320wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d1accbde970c-320wi|alt=Carrsville-fire-department|style=margin: 0px 5px 5px 0px;|title=Carrsville-fire-department|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d1accbde970c img-responsive!Carrsville will receive $5000 in grant money, which will be used to purchase ionization smoke alarms , with nonreplaceable batteries, designed to work for up to 10 years. Along with the fire department, community groups such as the Carrsville Ruritan Club, the Isle of Wight Parks and Recreation Department, and the local Boy Scout troop will help to implement the campaign.


Rolf H. Jensen, P.E., was a leading authority on fire protection engineering and participated in and supported the NFPA consensus standards process throughout his distinguished career. The grant is awarded annually to any fire department located in the United States or Canada – paid or volunteer – to support a community-wide fire and life safety education program or campaign. Recipients are chosen based on demonstration of a plan to implement the program or campaign aimed at the general public or a targeted group, clearly stated goals and objectives, staff assigned for the project, and a final report.


!http://i.zemanta.com/320443828_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/320443828_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Stay warm and safe as the temperature goes down

 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c822850d970b-320wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c822850d970b-320wi|alt=Leeka5 (2)|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Leeka5 (2)|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c822850d970b img-responsive!NFPA has selected Sherrie Leeka, Public Education Officer for the Westminster Fire Department, Westminster, CO, the 2016 Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year . Leeka will be recognized at NFPA’s Conference & Expo , the premier event in fire and life safety, this June in Las Vegas.


The Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year award, presented annually, recognizes an educator who works for a local fire department or fire marshal’s office in the U.S. or Canada, and uses NFPA's materials in consistent and creative ways, demonstrates excellence and innovation in reaching out to the community, and views NFPA as the leading source for fire safety information.


Known for her passion and enthusiasm for public education, Sherrie has developed the Citizen Fire Academy, covering the topics of fire prevention, hazardous materials in the home, water and ice safety, and fitness and wellness. She has coordinated “Fire Factor,” a program designed to prevent fire setting among 6th to 8th graders, instituted a home safety educational program for older adults, and for the Halloween carnival, created a “haunted” safety tent, getting dressed up in part costume, part fire gear to present safety information.


One of Leeka’s talents is working with children. When visiting schools, she tailors her programs, lessons and contests to suit the grade level she is speaking to, allowing students to easily grasp the concepts of fire and life safety. Leeka’s lessons are filled with valuable information and are engaging for students because she uses various models and teaching techniques to ensure her programs are compelling.


 

Leeka is a member and past president of the Fire and Life Safety Educators of Colorado, past president of Safe Kids Colorado, and has participated in NFPA's Remembering When ™ training conference and implemented the program locally.


!http://i.zemanta.com/328136475_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/328136475_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!NFPA task force member is chosen excellent educator

AlarmcoverThe Harris County Emergency Services District 48 Fire Department in Texas, the American Red Cross, Kingsland Baptist Church and Katy Area Community Emergency Response Team members went door-to-door Saturday to alert residents in the community about the importance of having working smoke alarms and to install new alarms in homes where needed.

As part of the Home Fire Prevention Campaign, firefighters and volunteers divided into teams and installed smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms, while other groups moved ahead of them to identify houses in which residents wanted to have their systems checked.

According to yourhoustonnews.com, by the end of the day, 172 smoke alarms had been installed in more than 60 homes previously lacking proper smoke alarm systems. The goal for the campaign is to install 5,000 smoke alarms in the Texas Gulf Coast Region by June and overall to help reduce fire deaths 25 percent by 2019.

If you’re interested in launching a campaign in your community, NFPA has essential tools for getting started. Planning and Implementing a Successful Smoke Alarm Installation Program is a free guide that outlines how to get organized, identify a target population, solicit funding, publicity, and donations, and recruit volunteers.

In addition, NFPA’s Smoke Alarm Central, and community toolkits on smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms can help you conduct successful safety education campaigns.

Clock
NFPA
is actively supporting Domino’s annual spring campaign, which reminds everyone to change their smoke alarm batteries when they change their clocks for daylight saving time this Sunday, March 13.

“Domino’s reaches thousands of people through delivery on a daily basis, and we want to use that opportunity to share fire safety tips with families across the country,” said Jenny Fouracre, Domino’s spokesperson. “Daylight saving time is a great time to remember to change your smoke alarm batteries after you set your clocks ahead. This small step is an easy one, but it can help save lives.” Domino's logo

Working smoke alarms reduce the risk of dying in a fire in half. That's why it's so important to test them monthly and make sure they're working properly. For smoke alarms with non-replaceable (long-life) batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the alarm chirps, warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm right away. For smoke alarms that don’t have non-replaceable (long-life) batteries, replace the batteries at least once a year. If the alarm chirps, replace only the battery.

Visit our Smoke Alarm Central page for a wealth of additional information on smoke alarm installation, maintenance and testing. And remember to turn your clocks ahead one hour this Sunday!

 

!http://a6.typepad.com/6a0162ff1d4766970d01b8d1aa3206970c-800wi|border=0|src=http://a6.typepad.com/6a0162ff1d4766970d01b8d1aa3206970c-800wi|alt=Lesson Plan|title=Lesson Plan|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a0162ff1d4766970d01b8d1aa3206970c image-full img-responsive!

Looking to give a simple yet stellar educational pitch for home fire sprinklers in your community but don't know where to start? NFPA's new mini lesson will leave audiences with a clearer picture on the role these devices play in saving lives.


Using a three-step process, the new lesson taps into practices once deemed safe (smoking on planes, hockey players on ice without helmets) and gives audiences a chance to ponder safety advances made since then. The lesson then hits home advances in fire safety, particularly the use of home fire sprinklers. The instructor can engage the audience with discussion questions on these devices and facts about their operation. 


 

Download the free lesson plan and spend 10 minutes instructing your community about the necessity of home fire sprinklers. 


!http://i.zemanta.com/345306977_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/345306977_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Latest edition of NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter highlights essay receiving national attention for its strong stance on home fire sprinklers

!http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_77_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_77_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Free money for fire sprinkler advocacy! Apply today for NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative Bringing Safety Home Grant

!http://i.zemanta.com/348887809_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/348887809_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Illinois fire and building officials enlightened on home fire sprinklers during kickoff event at NFPA Conference and Expo

Apartment Evacuated

Residents of a five-story apartment building in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, were evacuated this week because of elevated carbon monoxide (CO) readings. Firefighters had responded to a CO alarm. Elevated levels were detected immediately upon firefighters entering the building. According to SOOTODAY.com, dozens of residents were temporarily housed in the fire service’s command unit bus, as well as multiple city buses, as firefighters ventilated rooms and hallways.

Had the alarm not gone off and residents were exposed to the high levels for more than eight hours, Platoon Chief Chris Gillespie says residents could have experienced headaches, fatigue and nausea. If levels had gone higher, people would have been in danger of unconsciousness or worse.

“Every house in Sault Ste. Marie by law has to have a working CO [alarm] and smoke [alarms]," Gillespie said.

Hours after the emergency, residents were allowed back into their apartments.

NFPA’s community toolkit on carbon monoxide alarms, created in conjunction with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, provides everything educators need to motivate residents to install and maintain CO alarms, including safety tips sheets in English and Spanish, easy-to-read handouts in multiple languages, community outreach ideas, talking points, and a 10-minute mini-lesson.

SKY LANTERN

According to Madison, Wisconsin, television station, WKOW 27, a candlelight hike at a park turned dangerous Saturday night, after brush caught fire and flames quickly took off.

Safety tip sheetSun Prairie fire officials say the fire at McCarthy Youth and Conservation Park started when a sky lantern was released during a park event. Firefighters from multiple departments responded. No one was hurt, but officials say strong winds helped spread the flames. The fire ended up burning more than 15 acres in the park in about an hour.

"[The lanterns] are not a good idea; they are very dangerous,” said Fire Chief Christopher Garrison. He cited NFPA’s research on the devices. In fact, the use of sky lanterns is prohibited by NFPA code requirements. They should not be used under any circumstances. NFPA’s safety tip sheet on sky lanterns goes into detail on their dangerousness.

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