This graduation season, Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC) is urging its members to celebrate safely by practicing caution with mylar balloons. Metallic or foil balloons, also known as Mylar balloons, are popular at graduations and birthday parties. However, these balloons carry safety hazards and can cause power outages if they float away and contact a power line.
“This time of year, we almost always see a few outages caused by mylar balloons,” said Bill Ewing, PEC Control Center Operations Manager. “The metal coating on them is a conductor that can burn wire, cause downed lines, and even fires. We want to stress that these outages are preventable with some simple steps and awareness like tying down balloons and keeping an eye on them at all times.”
In 2020, PEC experienced more than a dozen outages caused by Mylar balloons. May is also National Electrical Safety Month, and PEC wants members to be aware of the risks of Mylar balloons.
When using metallic balloons, please remember the following:
- Make sure each balloon comes with a heavy weight tied to the end of it to keep it from floating away.
- Keep balloons tied down, and never leave them unattended.
- Never release balloons outdoors.
- Don’t keep balloons bundled together; this increases the chances they will float away and become tangled in power lines.
- When your celebration ends, dispose of balloons properly by deflating them indoors and putting them in the trash.
- Never touch or attempt to retrieve a balloon (or anything) in contact with a power line, instead call PEC immediately at 888-883-3379.
For more information visit pec.coop/safety.