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SCE warns of dangers of metallic balloons

SCE warns of dangers of metallic balloons

Metallic balloons, popular for parties and celebrations, are extremely dangerous when released--intentionally or not--to drift into power lines.

The metallic coating on mylar balloons conducts electricity, so when it touches a power line or floats into substation equipment, it can cause a short circuit, leading to downed wires, power outages, fires and possible injuries. 

"It is very important that we keep a good handle on metallic balloons, keep them indoors and keep them tethered,” said Scott Brown, Southern California Edison fire management officer.

State law requires every metallic balloon sold to be attached to a weight.

Keeping them safely tied to a weight is part of SCE’s continued “Stay Aware. Stay Safe." campaign. SCE also supports state Assembly Bill 2450, which would require in-state metallic balloon manufacturers to have a printed statement on balloons warning consumers about the dangerous risk of fire if the balloons come in contact with power lines.

Safety tips for metallic balloons:

•Metallic balloons should always be tied to a weight.
•Stores and vendors should only sell properly weighted balloons.
•Balloon owners should never remove the weight.
•Balloons should never be released outdoors.
•Do not try to retrieve balloons tangled in power lines or electrical equipment.
•Puncture balloons before disposing of them properly in the trash.

If you see balloons in power lines, call 911 or SCE at 1-800-611-1911 to report the problem.