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Show You Care by Making Sure Mylar Balloons Are Used Safely

For Release: February 12, 2014Mylar Balloons

Contact: Kyla Kruse, 217-546-6815, kekruse@illinois.edu

 

Show You Care by Making Sure Mylar Balloons Are Used Safely

(SPRINGFIELD, IL)—When looking to show a loved one how much you care on Valentine’s Day, surprising him or her with flowers, chocolates, and balloons have long been a tradition for many people. Mylar balloons have been a popular option because of the variety of designs, colors, and fun shapes that they come in. Safe Electricity recommends you to also show how much you care about your loved ones by making sure that Mylar balloons are used and disposed of safely.

“Mylar balloons can damage overhead and substation power equipment, causing power outages and a dangerous situation,” says Molly Hall, executive director of the Energy Education Council’s Safe Electricity program. “If you use Mylar balloons carelessly, you could literally be left in the dark.”

Mylar balloons are shiny, metallic balloons, which are often filled with helium. The shiny coating is a good conductor of electricity. If a balloon comes in contact with an overhead power line, it will cause a surge of electricity. These surges cause electrical arcs, explosions, and fires. This creates a dangerous situation for people and can cause power outages that require expensive repairs.

With a little care, you can avoid the disastrous aftermath a Mylar balloon can cause. Follow these tips from Safe Electricity when using Mylar balloons:

  • While using balloons, keep them weighted down or tethered far from power lines.
  • When you are done, deflate the balloon and throw it away. Do not release Mylar balloons.
  • Never tie a Mylar balloon to a person’s wrist.
  • Don’t attempt to retrieve a balloon, or any object that becomes entangled in electrical equipment. Contact your utility for assistance.

As we have seen this winter, Mylar balloons are certainly not the only culprits in power outages. Storms, ice, and fallen tree limbs can also cause a blackout in your neighborhood. Safe Electricity encourages everyone to create a preparedness kit in case of a power outage with enough supplies to last at least three days. This kit includes: water, food, blankets, pillows, clothes, a first aid kit, toiletries, flashlights, batteries, and a radio.

For more information on electrical safety, visit SafeElectricity.org.

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The Energy Education Council is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to promoting electrical safety and energy efficiency. Established in 1952, the Council is headquartered within the University of Illinois Extension, and serves as a forum for diverse utility and energy organizations to collaborate on the mutually vital issues of efficiency and safety. Learn more at www.EnergyEdCouncil.org.