In a recent press release, the Arizona Public Service Electric Co. (APS) urged all who use balloons to consider their dangers and safety concerns when handling them, noting these objects occasionally have a hand in damaging power lines and even causing power outages.
“Mylar balloons, the shiny balloons made out of metallic fibers, can short or melt an electrical wire, potentially resulting in power outages, fires and even injury,” the press release said.
Last year, Mylar balloons caused 81 outages, interrupting service to nearly 55,000 APS customers. This is nearly double the number of outages our customers experienced from balloons in 2015.
To ensure safety, APS recommends you “keep balloons indoors and away from overhead power lines, always attach a weight to metallic balloons and keep them tethered at all times.” The release also said, “Never play with balloons, kites, or drones around overhead power lines. Always deflate balloons and dispose of them properly when no longer in use. Always assume power lines are energized, and keep yourself, your equipment and all other items at least 10 feet away from power lines.”
APS is a leading producer of electricity in Arizona, serving over 2 million residents.