Don’t let go: Valentine’s Day metallic balloons could cause power outages, PG&E warns

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — That Valentine’s Day gift from your significant other could be the cause of significant electrical problems for you and others in your neighborhood.

Metallic balloons are common gifts on Valentine’s Day, but PG&E says they’re also threats to power lines if they drift out your hands and towards them.

The balloons can melt electric wires, short transformers and cause power outages if metallic balloons make contact with local power lines, officials said.

According to PG&E, metallic balloons caused 33 outages affecting 17,000 Kern County residents and businesses last year.

PG&E has tips for you to protect yourself and prevent power outages:

  • “Look Up and Live!” Use caution and avoid celebrating with metallic balloons near overhead electric lines.
  • Be sure helium-filled metallic balloons are securely tied to a weight heavy enough to prevent the balloon from flying away. Never remove the weight.
  • Never try to retrieve the balloon or other objects tangled in power lines or inside a substation. Call PG&E to report the problem at 1-800-743-5000.
  • Never go near downed power lines. Assume downed power lines are energized and dangerous. Stay away from them and call 911.

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