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Next Question: Are laser Christmas lights dangerous to pilots?

Our Next Question comes from Donette Homra, who’s curious about the trendy new way of adding Christmas decorations to your house. 

Our Next Question comes from Donette Homra, who’s curious about the trendy new way of adding Christmas decorations to your house:

"You know those laser light decorations that you point on your house to make it look as though you hung hundreds of lights? Are they safe? I don't want to purchase and use one if they could be a hazard."

We took Donette’s question to former NTSB investigator Greg Feith.

To simplify things:

Yes, Christmas laser light displays can be dangerous. They can damage eyes and disorient people.
So pilots, and to those who are driving near laser light displays can be in trouble because, well, you know, they're operating big hunks of metal flying through the air or driving down a street.

“Neighborhoods in close proximity to Denver International Airport, Centennial and Rocky Mountain Metro present the highest danger because airplanes are typically very low so the exposure risk is higher,” he says.
It's best to just make sure and double check that lasers are pointed at buildings - and not up in the air. The FAA investigated several incidents with light displays last year.

Knowingly pointing a laser into an aircraft is a federal offense and if you are caught intentionally or knowingly pointing the laser devices into the sky, the penalty is 20 years in prison or a $250,000 fine.

So be careful out there.