Don’t blow it on Valentine’s Day, tie down your mylar balloons

Thursday, February 13th, 2014. Filed under: Services
Help prevent unnecessary outages. Keep your metallic balloons secured for Valentine's Day (photo courtesy of Southern California Edison (SCE) facebook page)

Help prevent unnecessary outages. Keep your metallic balloons secured for Valentine’s Day (photo courtesy of Southern California Edison (SCE) facebook page)

ROSEMEAD, Calif. – Valentine’s Day is a day full of sweet sentiments, but Southern California Edison (SCE) reminds customers of a situation that can turn things sour fast: floating Mylar balloons.

Helium-filled Mylar balloons, often given as Valentine’s gifts, can float into power lines and cause power outages or even downed power lines. The resulting outages can last from minutes to hours for homes and businesses, and can lead to inoperable stoplights, property damage and possibly even injuries.

In the last two years, SCE has seen a sharp increase in balloon-related outages, with 689 last year after 583 in 2012. These are the highest numbers since 2007. In addition, there was a 75-percent jump in balloon-caused outages between February (59), when the numbers usually spike, and January (34) last year.

SCE asks customers to keep the balloons indoors, and if they are used outdoors, to keep them secured to a heavy weight to keep them from floating away (It is unlawful to sell balloons without a string weight). Never remove the weight. Mass balloon releases also are illegal in several states, including California.

“It only takes one wayward balloon to cause a power outage,” said Don Neal, SCE director of Corporate Environmental Health and Safety. “Tying down a Mylar balloon is the best way to prevent this.”

SCE recommends some other safety tips for handling Mylar balloons:

Do not attempt to retrieve a balloon – or any foreign object – tangled in power lines. Instead, call SCE at 800-611-1911 and report the problem.

Never tie a Mylar balloon to a child’s wrist. If the balloon comes into contact with electricity, it will travel through the balloon and into the child, causing serious injury or even death.

Never attach streamers to any balloon – latex or metallic.

When done with the balloons, do not release them. Puncture them several times or cut the knot and throw them in the garbage to prevent them from floating away.

If you see a downed line or dangling wire – even if it appears not to be live – don’t touch or approach it and call 911 immediately.

More on metallic balloon safety can be found at Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

About Southern California Edison

An Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of nearly 14 million via 4.9 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California.

Share Button

Related posts

The real treat should be a safe Halloween seasonShow moms, grads your love but tie down those metallic balloonsSCE cautions customers to stay alert against utility bill scamSCE reminds customers to conserve electricity during extended heat waveAs metallic balloon outages soar SCE urges customers to secure them this Valentine’s Day  SCE Celebrates Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month SCE warns customers to be aware of utility bill scam this Holiday seasonApplication period begins for $1.2-M 2014-15 Edison Scholars ProgramStay Safe While Preparing for and Celebrating the Holidays Southern California Edison Offers Tips to Avoid Injuries and Fire HazardsSafety urged as heat wave, thunderstorms approachSCE celebrates Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month Make Sure Safety is on the Menu This Thanksgiving  This Valentine’s Day, Don’t Get Carried Away – Tie Your Metallic Balloons DownSouthern California Edison’s Equipment Being Flown to New York to Assist in Restoration Effort and Damage Repair from Superstorm SandySouthern California Edison Sending Crews to Assist  in Restoration Effort and Damage Repair from Hurricane SandyStudents Learn electrical safety during ‘A Bug’s Light!’ playSCE launches Charge Ready Electric Vehicle Charging Pilot Program30 Edison scholars to receive $1.2-M; Each scholar gets $40,000Safety deserves a place at the Thanksgiving tableHigh winds disrupt power throughout Southern California