PG&E warns of metallic balloons causing power outages on Valentine’s Day


That special Valentine’s Day gift from your significant other could cause significant problems for you and others around you.

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

According to PG&E, metallic balloons caused 42 outages affecting nearly 30,000 residents and businesses last year. PG&E reported more than 450 power outages across its service areas in Northern and Central California were caused by the balloons.

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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