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Sky lanterns (often known as floating, paper or Chinese lanterns) are made from thin paper stretched on a frame. A candle or other fuel source is held in a holder in the frame, and the burning fuel provides heat and lifts the lantern into the air. These lanterns are often used for weddings or memorials. However, they blow wherever the wind takes them and can cause fires if they land on something that is combustible. Maine law does not allow the use, sale or possession of sky lanterns in the state.
• Maine Statute Title 8, Chapter 9-A, Section 221-A(4): defines fireworks and includes “the type of balloon that requires fire underneath to propel it”. This includes sky lanterns. *Note: the definition of fireworks is different from the definition of consumer fireworks, which allows certain types of fireworks to be bought, sold and used; but it doesn’t include sky lanterns.
• Maine Statute Title 8, Chapter 9-A, Section 222(1) states: “A person may not possess or have under that person’s control fireworks.” This includes sky lanterns.
• Maine Statute Title 8, Chapter 9-A, Section 223(1) states: “Except for the sale of consumer fireworks under section 223-A, a person may not sell, possess with the intent to sell or offer for sale fireworks.” This includes sky lanterns.
Please contact the Maine Office of State Fire Marshal at (207) 626-3870 if you have questions.