Shiny, metallic Mylar balloons are a mainstay of graduations, weddings, Father’s Day and religious occasions that happen during the next few months. While they are festive, they can also become hazards. PSEG Long Island is reminding customers that balloons released into the air can become entangled in overhead electric equipment and cause a host of problems.
Mylar balloons, which can stay inflated for two weeks or more, have a metallic coating that conducts electricity. When a Mylar balloon touches a power line or floats into substation equipment it can cause a short circuit. This contact can lead to downed wires, power outages, fires and injuries. Balloons also can harm wildlife when they accidentally ingest popped balloon fragments or become entangled in the balloon string.
“Though they’re festive, fun and look nice, we want the public to be aware that metallic balloons also conduct electricity. If they get loose and come into contact with a power line or other electrical equipment, that could lead to power outages, fire and, possibly, injuries,” said Michael Sullivan, PSEG Long Island’s vice president of Transmission and Distribution. “The safety of our customers and employees is PSEG Long Island’s No. 1 priority. We want our customers to know the risks and take steps to ensure their celebrations are a success.”
To mitigate these risks, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind to celebrate safely:
- Metallic balloons and other decorations should be kept clear of overhead power lines and equipment, and never purposely released into the air.
- All balloons with helium should be secured to weights that prevent them from floating away.
- To properly dispose of a Mylar balloon, safely puncture it in several places to release the helium, and discard it in the trash.
- NEVER touch a power line. Do not attempt to retrieve a balloon, toy or anything caught in an overhead power line. Report it by contacting PSEG Long Island at 800-490-0075 so a specially trained crew can safely address the issue.
Learn how to keep yourself and your loved ones safe from any and all electrical hazards at https://www.psegliny.com/safetyandreliability/safetytips.