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

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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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