Mylar balloons go up, power goes out

Last year, 66,000 APS customers lost service when balloons hit power lines. APS offers suggestions to reduce outages and keep customers safe.

Last year alone, balloons caused 83 power outages in APS service territory, interrupting service to nearly 66,000 APS customers. Among outages caused by balloons so far this year, one affected more than 14,000 APS customers, but most balloon-related outages take place between Valentine’s Day and graduation season.

When released outdoors, Mylar balloons can travel great distances and are non-biodegradable. To keep balloons from wearing out their welcome and to stay safe around power lines, APS suggests:

  • Only using balloons indoors and away from overhead power lines. Even non-metallic balloons can become entangled in lines and cause an outage.
  • Always attaching a weight to metallic balloons or keeping them tethered at all times.
  • Never playing with balloons, kites or drones around overhead power lines.
  • Always deflating balloons and disposing of them properly when no longer in use.
  • Always assuming power lines are energized. Keep yourself, your equipment and all other items at least 100 feet away from power lines.

Safety with mylar balloons.

This video demonstration shows what happens when metallic balloons come in contact with overhead lines. (This video is for demonstration purposes only and was performed by a trained lineman with the proper safety equipment in a controlled environment.)


APS serves nearly 1.3 million homes and businesses in 11 of Arizona’s 15 counties, and is a leader in delivering affordable, clean and reliable energy in the Southwest. The company is committed to serving customers with 100% clean power by 2050. As owner and operator of Palo Verde Generating Station, the nation’s largest producer of carbon-free electricity, and with one of the country’s most substantial renewable energy portfolios, APS’ current energy mix is 50% clean. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the principal subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp. (NYSE: PNW).

Media Contact:
Lily Quezada
(602) 250-4643

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