El Paso Electric Sees Several Outages Due to Mylar Balloons

May 26, 2017

Over the past week, El Paso Electric (EPE) has seen three outages due to Mylar balloons, affecting just under 7,000 customers in El Paso. Mylar balloons are made of metallic material that can cause a short circuit, potentially resulting in power outages and harm to equipment.

EPE crews prepare for outages during the high demand season during the summer by conducting a February Maintenance Blitz, which includes completing upgrades on the system, replacing poles, transformers and other older equipment. This year, crews worked to replace over 500 pieces of equipment in 191 locations throughout EPE’s service territory.

As the hot summer season begins, EPE wants to remind our community to be safe, and help reduce possible power outages due to factors such as Mylar balloons.

To reduce the risk of outages caused by Mylar balloons, El Paso Electric has these suggestions:

  • Keep metallic and all other types of balloons indoors and away from overhead power lines.  Even non-metallic balloons can become entangled in lines and cause an outage.
  • Always attach a weight to metallic balloons.  Keep them tethered at all times. 
  •  Never use balloons, kites, drones and other toys near overhead power lines.
  • Always deflate metallic balloons and dispose of them when no longer in use.
  • Never release large/oversized latex balloons or large bunches of latex balloons. They can strike power lines when released or when they fall back to the ground.
  • Always assume power lines are live. Always keep yourself, your equipment and all other items, including toys, at least 10 feet away from power lines.

Customers are encouraged to download the MyEPE Outage Reporting app through the App Store or Google Play to report any outage in their home or business.