APS provides tips to keep people, pets and property protected as you celebrate
This Valentine’s Day, Cupid’s arrow may be flying in the air, but Arizona Public Service (APS) cautions the public to keep their Mylar balloons grounded and away from overhead power lines. If let loose, Mylar balloons can threaten public safety and cause inconvenient power outages.
“There’s no better way to show your loved ones you care about them than helping to keep them safe,” said Vincent Massey, APS Safety Manager. “Remember, balloons should always be anchored. If they become entangled in power lines, they can cause harm and quickly take the air out of your celebration.”
The metallic coating on Mylar balloons conducts electricity and can cause a short circuit or power surge that can melt electrical wires and spark dangerous fires, damage property and seriously injure people, pets and wildlife. Some balloons can remain inflated and float for weeks after they are released until they strike a power line.
Every year, APS crews respond to many avoidable outages caused by balloons. In 2023, balloons were responsible for 107 power outages in APS’s service territory, impacting nearly 100,000 customers.
To stay safe around electricity, we encourage the public to:
- Only use balloons indoors and away from overhead power lines. Even non-metallic balloons can become entangled in lines and knock out power.
- Secure balloons with a weight, tie them down or keep them tethered.
- Puncture and deflate balloons to dispose of them properly when no longer in use.
- Never attempt to retrieve a balloon, kite or object that becomes caught in a power line. Instead, report tangled items in APS power lines by calling the APS Outage Hotline at (602) 371-3680 or (855) 688-2437 or visiting aps.com/outage.
- Always assume power lines are energized. Stay at a safe distance and keep yourself and all items at least 100 feet away from power lines.
These photos and video demonstration show what happens when metallic balloons come in contact with overhead power lines. (This video is for demonstration purposes only and was performed by a trained APS lineman using proper safety equipment in a controlled environment.) Visit aps.com/safety for more ways to stay safe near electricity indoors and outdoors.