AP NEWS

Keep celebrations festive, safe with metallic balloons

May 24, 2018

SALT LAKE CITY — Birthdays, graduations and other celebrations are often made more festive with balloon decorations. Rocky Mountain Power (RMP) is reminding customers that, while festive, the metallic coated Mylar balloons can be dangerous around electricity.

Mylar balloons conduct electricity very well and can cause power outages and injury if mishandled. If these balloons get into power lines, the result can be the loss of electricity to homes, businesses, traffic lights and other services. They can also cause sparks and arcing that could result in fires.

“Last year 32 outages were caused by stray metallic balloons getting into Rocky Mountain Power’s electrical infrastructure,” said Tom Davis, safety director. “Properly securing or weighting metallic balloons could have avoided the disruption of service to these customers and additional safety concerns throughout the area.”

Mylar balloons should be kept secured at all times and never released to float through the air. Even if they miss power lines going up, these balloons have been known to stay aloft for several days before losing their helium and falling back to earth – still with the potential to fall into power lines and electrical equipment on the way down.

The following safety tips will help keep celebrations safe when using metallic-based balloons:

1. Always attach weights to Mylar balloons and do not remove them.

2. When possible, keep metallic balloons indoors.

3. Never release Mylar balloons into the air.

4. Do not bundle metallic balloons together.

5. Never tie a Mylar balloon to the arm of a child.

6. If any type of balloon, kite or toy becomes caught in power lines, leave it alone and call Rocky Mountain Power at 1-888-221-7070 to report the problem.

Additional safety information and tips can be found on the company’s website at www.rockymountainpower.net/safety.

About RMP

Rocky Mountain Power provides safe and reliable electric service to more than a million customers in Utah, Wyoming and Idaho. The company works to meet customers’ growing electricity needs while protecting and enhancing the environment. Rocky Mountain Power is part of PacifiCorp, one of the lowest-cost electricity providers in the United States. More information available at rockymountainpower.net.