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Keep your Valentine safe this year.

If you celebrate with metallic balloons, remember to keep them tethered at all times and dispose of them properly. Proper handling and disposal keeps them from drifting into power lines and causing a power outage.

When a metallic balloon touches a power line or floats into substation equipment, it can cause a surge of electricity that short circuits equipment and can lead to power outages, fires, and possible injuries.

In the course of a year, it would not be surprising to find that metallic balloons that come into contact with overhead power line or substation equipment cause power outages that affect hundreds of thousands of electric consumers. To reduce these outages and help keep the lights on, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Keep balloons tethered at all times and attached to a weight.
  • When no longer in use, puncture and deflate the balloons before creatively reusing or disposing of them.
  • If a balloon or another toy becomes entangled in an overhead power line, do not attempt to retrieve it. Call your electric utility for assistance.

Always assume power lines are live, and keep yourself and all other items at least 10 feet away from power lines.