Warm weather brings outdoor parties for graduations, birthdays and weddings, but it also can lead to power outages when Mylar balloons from those festivities come into contact with power lines. Over a weekend in May, four Mylar balloons drifted into overhead electrical lines and caused power outages affecting approximately 6,000 customers.
When a Mylar balloon contacts a power line or a part of substation equipment, its metallic properties can cause a surge of electricity that can, in turn, cause the equipment to short-circuit. And the spark could lead to a power outage or fire.
ComEd encourages customers to help reduce Mylar balloon-related power outages and ensure safety by keeping the following tips in mind:
- Keep balloons tethered at all times and attached to weights.
- Properly dispose of Mylar balloons by puncturing the balloon to release helium that otherwise could cause the balloon to float away.
- NEVER touch a power line. Do not attempt to retrieve a balloon or toy that is entangled in an overhead power line. For assistance, call ComEd at 1-800-EDISON-1 (800-334-7661).
- Always assume power lines are live and keep yourself, your belongings and anything you are carrying at least 10 feet away from power lines.
ComEd customers can learn about more safety tips for the season by visiting ComEd.com.Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with approximately 6.6 million customers. ComEd provides service to approximately 3.8 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population