San Diego Gas & Electric is asking graduates to think twice about celebrating with Mylar balloons, which can easily cause outages if they touch power lines.
With the coronavirus pandemic forcing the transformation of graduations, “you may have seen colorful car parades complete with signs, streamers and shiny Mylar balloons tied to vehicles,” an SDG&E statement said Tuesday.
“Unfortunately, the thing that makes Mylar balloons so shiny is also the thing that can cause an electric outage if the metallic coating makes contact with a power line.”
Just over the past week alone, seven Mylar balloon-related outages caused service disruptions for about 3,800 of SDG&E’s customers, according to the utility.
Over the past five years, Mylar balloons have been identified as the cause of more than 500 power outages on the region’s electrical system, SDG&E officials said.
The utility offered several tips for grads and their families:
- When the fun is done, deflate the Mylar balloon so that it doesn’t get loose and float away.
- Whenever possible, try to keep Mylar balloons indoors.
- If festivities head outdoors, try to keep balloons securely fastened.
- And if someone notices a Mylar balloon entangled in an overhead power line, call 911 or SDG&E at 800-411-7343. Do not try to remove it.
— City News Service