Southern California Edison Friday reminded Southlanders to be careful with metallic balloons on Valentine’s Day and other special occasions because they cause power outages when they come into contact with electrical lines.
There were 1,022 outages caused by metallic balloons last year, affecting more than 1 million SCE customers, according to the utility.
Valentine’s Day leads to a spike in the popularity of the colorful gifts, triggering a sharp increase in balloon-related outages that typically doesn’t peak until June’s school graduations.
The balloons’ metallic coating easily transmits electricity, which can lead to short-circuits and outages. And balloon-related explosions can bring down power lines.
“Never, ever release metallic balloons outdoors; and always secure them to a weight — as required by state law — or something else sturdy like a table,” said Andrew Martinez of SCE.
“Keep them indoors, if possible, (because) releasing them into the air can threaten public safety,” Martinez said.
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