AC Electric: Foil balloons can cause power outages

    (Image: CPS Energy)

    (Image: CPS Energy)

    Don’t let an errant foil balloon force an early last call at your summer party.

    Atlantic City Electric advises the public that a foil balloon, also known as Mylar balloons, and electric equipment don’t mesh well. 

    “When a foil balloon contacts a power line or a part of substation equipment, its metallic properties can cause a surge of electricity that can, in turn, cause the equipment to short-circuit. And the spark could lead to a power outage or fire,” the electric utility said in a release.

    Foil balloons caused nearly 30 service interruptions between January 2015 and May 2016, affecting approximately 1,100 customers, according to Atlantic City Electric. 

    The company offers the following tips to reduce foil balloon-related power outages and ensure safety: 

    Keep balloons tethered at all times and attached to weights.
    Properly dispose of foil balloons by puncturing the balloon to release helium that otherwise could cause the balloon to float away.
    NEVER touch a power line. Do not attempt to retrieve a balloon, toy or kite that is entangled in an overhead power line. For assistance, call Atlantic City Electric at 1-800-833-7476.
    Always assume power lines are live and keep yourself, your belongings and anything you are carrying at least 10 feet away from power lines.

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