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News & Resources

IID reminds customers to keep metallic balloons away from power lines

Due to recent outages caused by metallic balloons made of Mylar, Imperial Irrigation District’s Energy Department wishes to remind customers to not release these balloons in the outdoors.
Post Date:06/01/2020

During this time of year, flowers, personalized cards and balloons are popular gifts for graduation ceremonies as well as Father’s Day.

Due to recent outages caused by metallic balloons made of Mylar, Imperial Irrigation District’s Energy Department wishes to remind customers to not release these balloons in the outdoors.

“The metallic coating on these balloons conducts electricity, and can cause a short circuit or power surge when in contact with power lines,” said Marilyn Gilbert, IID’s Energy Department manager.

This can lead to large-scale power outages, melting of electrical wires, and fires, leading to possible injuries and property damage. In addition, outages caused by balloons can result in traffic congestion due to disrupted traffic signals, and cause significant inconvenience for residents and businesses.

To reduce the risk of outages and potential injury, IID suggests the following tips to safely and properly handle Mylar balloons:

  • Never release a Mylar balloon outdoors.
  • Keep Mylar balloons away from power lines.
  • Use balloon weights.
  • Never use metallic ribbon with metallic balloons.
  • Always deflate metallic balloons and dispose of them properly when no longer in use.

If you see a Mylar balloon that has contacted a power line, keep yourself, your equipment, and all other items and people, at least 20 feet away. Always assume the power lines are energized.


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