Mylar Balloon Hazard

May 18, 2012

mylar balloons

Metallic balloons are a popular decoration used to celebrate birthdays, graduations and other special occasions, but they play havoc with power lines.  Each year, Mylar balloons cause power disruptions that impact thousands of homes and businesses.

Mylar balloons are made of metallic material that can cause a short circuit and can eventually lead to equipment failure when they come into contact with power lines.  Just one balloon can cause a short circuit which can trigger an explosion or melt an electrical wire, potentially resulting in power outages, fires and possible injuries.

So far this year, Mylar balloons have caused outages that have affected almost 5,000 customers.

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, model airplanes and other toys near overhead power lines.
  • Always deflate metallic balloons and dispose of them properly 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. NEVER assume that a power line is safe to touch. Stay Away! Stay Safe!