Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and while love is definitely in the air this time of year, you don’t want balloons to be. Each year, thousands of Americans celebrate different holidays and occasions with helium-filled metallic balloons, and each year millions of homes and businesses experience power outages by balloons drifting into power lines.
Most helium balloons are made of mylar, a special kind of plastic that has a thin metallic coating great for conducting electricity. When a mylar balloon touches a power line or floats into substation equipment, their metallic properties cause a surge of electricity that results in power outages or electrical fires. Balloons can even cause energized wires to fall to the ground posing a serious safety risk.
In order to reduce these risks and help ensure everyone can safely enjoy their Valentine’s Day, Conway Corporation reminds customers to follow these important safety tips for metallic balloons:
- Use caution and avoid celebrating with metallic balloons near overhead electric lines.
- Make sure helium-filled balloons are securely tied to a weight that is heavy enough to prevent them from floating away.
- When possible, keep metallic balloons indoors and never permit metallic balloons to be released outside.
- Never attempt to retrieve any type of balloon, kite or toy that becomes caught in a power line. Leave it alone and immediately call Conway Corporation at 450-6000.
- Never go near a power line that has fallen to the ground or is dangling in the air. Always assume downed electric lines are energized and extremely dangerous. If you see a downed power line, stay far away and immediately call 450-6000.
- When disposing of balloons, make sure to puncture them to ensure lingering helium doesn’t cause them to float or blow away.