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​february 13, 2019
 
this valentine's day, hold your loved ones close and your balloons even closer 
 
Mylar balloons can cause power outages and property damage
 
PHOENIX – As Valentine’s Day approaches, APS reminds customers to use caution and keep hold of any Mylar balloons Cupid delivers for the holiday.
 
Mylar balloons are made of metallic fibers, which are conductive and can cause electrical outages if caught on high-voltage lines. APS sees an increase in this cause for power outages around holidays and celebrations like Valentine’s Day, birthdays and school graduations when balloons are a popular gift. The metallic makeup of a Mylar balloon can cause an electrical short circuit or even melt an electrical wire, causing not only power outages, but also fires, property damage and even injury.  
 
In 2018 alone, APS responded to 63 outages related to Mylar balloons – 33 percent more than the year prior – that affected 18,891 customers throughout the state.
 
Impacted businesses like restaurants and movie theaters especially can be vulnerable on what can be one of the busiest and most profitable days of the year. In addition to losing revenue if services are suspended during the outage, businesses are at risk for costly equipment damage to televisions, refrigerators and other electric appliances.
 
Take note of these five balloon safety tips to help prevent power outages: 
 
  • Keep balloons indoors and away from overhead power lines. Even non-metallic balloons can become entangled in lines and cause an outage.
  • Always attach a weight to balloons and 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.
  • Always assume power lines are energized. Keep yourself, your equipment and all other items at least 10 feet away from power lines. 
If you see a downed power line or potentially dangerous power line activity, stay at least 100 feet away and report an outage to APS at aps.com/outagecenter.
 
APS serves about 2.7 million people in 11 of Arizona’s 15 counties, and is the Southwest’s foremost producer of clean, safe and reliable electricity. Using a balanced energy mix that is 50 percent carbon-free, APS has one of the country’s cleanest energy portfolios, including both Palo Verde Generating Station and renewable energy. The company is also a proven leader in introducing technology and services that offer customers choice and control over their energy consumption. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the principal subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp. (NYSE: PNW).