With graduations and summer just around the corner, balloons might be on the top of your list of décor for exciting celebrations. If they are, it’s important to keep in mind that foil balloons, also known as Mylar balloons, can lead to outages if they come into contact with power lines. These balloons also have been known to float for days and can end up having a negative impact on the environment.
When foil-coated balloons contact a power line or other electric equipment, their metallic properties can cause a surge of electricity that can impact equipment. In 2022 alone, there were 45 outages impacting 8,471 customers in our region that were caused by foil balloons. These types of outages are preventable, and we encourage customers to keep the following tips in mind:
- Foil balloons should never be released outdoors.
- Always keep balloons tethered and attached to weights.
- Properly dispose of foil balloons by puncturing the balloon to release helium that otherwise could cause the balloon to float away.
- NEVER touch a power line. Do not attempt to retrieve a balloon or toy that is entangled in an overhead power line. For assistance, call PECO at 1-800-841-4141.
- Always assume power lines are energized and keep yourself, your belongings, and anything you are carrying at least 10 feet away at all times.