PECO warns: Wires, foil balloons a bad mix

Warmer weather brings outdoor parties for graduations, birthdays and weddings, but it also can lead to injury and power outages if the foil or Mylar balloons decorating the festivities are not securely tied so that they don’t come into contact with overhead power lines.

Last year alone, foil balloons caused power outages for more than 5,750 PECO customers, according to a PECO press release

.When a foil balloon contacts a power line or a piece of electrical equipment, it can become energized. Its metallic material can also cause a surge of electricity that can lead to power outages and other potentially dangerous situations, the release said.

PECO suggests keeping the following safety tips in mind:

  • Always assume power lines are energized and keep yourself, your belongings and anything you are carrying at least 10 feet away from power lines.
  • Keep balloons and other decorations tethered and attached to weights at all times.
  • Always properly dispose of foil balloons, safely puncturing the balloon to release the helium.
  • Never touch a power line. Do not attempt to retrieve a balloon, toy or other type of debris that is entangled in an overhead power line. Call PECO immediately at 1-800-494-4000 to report the problem.

To learn more about power line safety, visit





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