APS offers safety tips to keep Mylar balloons away from power lines and prevent outages
As this year’s graduates get ready to receive their diplomas and celebrate, APS reminds families to keep their festive balloons close while attending ceremonies and parties. Shiny, metallic balloons, also known as Mylar balloons, can cause major power outages and be dangerous when they come in contact with energized power lines.
So far this year, balloons caused 11 power outages in APS service territory, disrupting service to more than 6,100 APS customers. Most balloon-related outages occur between Valentine’s Day and graduation season.
While they bring an extra shimmer to the celebration, the metallic coating on Mylar balloons conducts electricity and can cause a short circuit or power surge – often causing the power to go out, melting electrical wires, sparking fires, damaging property and even injuring people, pets and wildlife.
To keep everyone safe during graduation season, APS recommends the following safety tips:
- Use balloons indoors and keep them away from overhead power lines. Even non-metallic balloons can become entangled in lines and cause an outage.
- Always attach a weight to metallic balloons or keep them tethered at all times.
- Never play with balloons, kites or drones around overhead power lines.
- Always deflate balloons and dispose of them properly when no longer in use.
- Always assume power lines are energized. Keep yourself and your personal items at least 100 feet away from power lines.
This video demonstration shows what happens when metallic balloons come in contact with overhead lines. (This demonstration was performed by a trained lineman with the proper safety equipment in a controlled environment.)
Visit the safety page on aps.com to learn more tips for indoor and outdoor safety around electricity.