SCE cautions customers when celebrating with balloons

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(CNS) – Southern California Edison today reminded graduates and other celebrants to handle and dispose of balloons properly to avoid causing power outages.

When released into the sky, helium-filled metallic balloons may drift into high-voltage lines, causing short circuits, burned wires, damage to electrical equipment and service interruptions, according to the utility.

Balloon-related outages typically peak in June and July, during graduations and around Father’s Day and the Fourth of July, according to SCE.

SCE recommends the following safety rules when handling balloons, especially metallic ones:

  • Do not attempt to retrieve a balloon or any foreign object tangled in power lines. Instead, call SCE at (800) 611-1911 and report the problem;
  • Keep balloons indoors, and never release them outside;
  • Never attach metallic streamers to any type of balloon; and
  • Be sure to secure a helium-filled balloon with a weight heavy enough to prevent it from drifting away and coming into contact with high voltage lines. (It is unlawful to sell metallic balloons without a string weight.).

If you see a downed power line, do not approach it or touch the line or any person or object in contact with the downed line. Call 911 immediately and inform the operator that it is an electrical emergency.

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