Beautiful, but dangerous: Fire officials issue warning about sky lanterns before 4th

Posted at 4:59 PM, Jun 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-28 18:18:27-04

They're beautiful and gaining popularity at parties, weddings, and memorial events, but before you hop on the sky lantern trend this holiday weekend you should know they're illegal.

The lanterns break fire code and are banned here in Ohio. 

According to fire officials, each one is basically a tiny, uncontrollable fire. 

"When you light it, it produces heat, that allows it to go up into the air," Sandusky Fire Chief Mario D'Amico explained.

The lanterns used enough for the Ohio Fire Marshal to re-issue a warning, especially with 4th of July celebrations right around the corner. Sky lanterns aren't fireworks and they aren't legal. 

"We don't allow them in Sandusky, we don't want them to land on a building or another flammable object," Chief D'Amico added. 

He said they've seen them a few times in Sandusky, but luckily without complications; "luckily nothing happened."

If you're caught lighting one up anywhere in state, you could be charged with a misdemeanor, carrying a $1000 fine and even jail time. 

"We advise you do not use them," the chief said.

News 5 checked in with several communities while reporting this story and didn't find one that's issued a permit for the lanterns. 

For more from the fire marshal: