Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) reminds customers that proper handling and disposal of Mylar balloons prevents them from drifting into power lines and causing damage and power outages.
The metallic coating on Mylar balloons conducts electricity. Because of this, 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 possible injuries.
With the warmer weather there are more outdoor celebrations, and Mylar balloons add to the festivities; however, they should be secured and deflated after graduations, parties, picnics, etc. To reduce the risk of outages and injuries, customers should keep the following safety tips in mind:
- NEVER touch a power line. Do not attempt to retrieve a balloon, kite, or other types of toys or debris entangled in an overhead power line or substation. Call PSE&G to report the problem at 1-800-436-7734 so their crews can remove the item safely.
- Keep Mylar balloons and other decorations away from overhead power lines and all utility equipment.
- Keep balloons tethered at all times. Make sure balloons are secured to a weight that is heavy enough to prevent them from floating away.
- Always dispose of Mylar balloons properly by safely puncturing the balloon in several places to release the helium that otherwise could cause the balloon to float away.