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6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c83569e9970b-800wi.jpgIt’s called the Fire Spray Challenge, a viral trend in which teens use aerosols and lighters to create streams of fire, and record their reactions for Snapchat or Instagram videos. According to the New York Daily News, there have thus far been more than 4,000 Instagram posts using the hashtag #firespraychallenge. The first known Fire Spray Challenge video was uploaded in mid-March.

 

Fire and Life Safety Educators looking to make presentations to parents and caretakers to help curtail this highly dangerous activity can turn to NFPA’s 60-minute lesson plan on the Fire Challenge, another extremely dangerous activity popular among some teens. The lesson plan, The Fire Challenge: A Conversation with Parents & Caretakers, provides step-by-step guidance for making a 60-minute presentation, including a list of suggestions for exciting, yet safe activities as an alternative, information on addressing teen risk-taking in the age of social media, an explanation of biological characteristics that impede responsible decision making, and ways to open the lines of communication.

NFPA+prohibits+the+use+of+sky+lanterns.jpgFor centuries, in many parts of the world, sky lanterns have been launched for play or as part of long-established festivals. That tradition continues; their popularity has increased in recent years. However, sky lanterns pose a serious fire safety hazard and their use is prohibited by NFPA code requirement. The NFPA 1: Fire Code, 2015 Edition states the following: The use of unmanned, free-floating sky lanterns and similar devices utilizing an open flame shall be prohibited.

 

Sky lanterns are made of oiled rice paper with a bamboo frame, materials that can easily catch on fire. A candle or wax fuel cell is used with the device. The lit flame heats the inside of the lantern, causing it to rise into the air. Once lit and airborne, the lantern can travel more than a mile. Wind can affect it, blowing the sides, forcing hot air out and sending the flaming lantern to the ground. These lanterns have the potential to start a fire. In late February, a sky lantern released during a park event in Wisconsin, burned more than 15 acres in about an hour.

 

NFPA’s Sky Lanterns Safety tip sheets provide more information on the hazards of sky lanterns and their prohibition.

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