Valentine’s Day is once again upon us, and millions of people in Southern California will be buying flowers, candy and other gifts to show each other how much they care. But there is something important to consider aside from remembering to make those restaurant reservations.
Did you know that metallic balloons cause hundreds of outages across Southern California Edison’s service territory each year? In fact, metallic balloons caused SCE a record-high 937 outages last year, surpassing the previous high of 924 set in 2015. Over the past five years, the month of February has seen an average of 61 metallic balloon-related outages. In addition to the inconvenience, balloon-related outages are a safety hazard.
Please consider the following tips if you are including metallic balloons in your Valentine’s Day celebration.
- Always secure your balloons and never release them. Retailers who sell metallic balloons are required to sell balloon weights as well. If you don’t have a weight, ensure your metallic balloons are secured so they don’t float away and come into contact with overhead power lines.
- Puncture balloons before putting them in the garbage to keep them from floating away.
- Never tie a metallic balloon to a child as the balloon could come into contact with a power line.
- Never try to retrieve a balloon that has become tangled in power lines. Call SCE at 800-611-1911 and report the problem.
- As always, if you see a downed wire, stay away and call 911 immediately.