APS says keep Valentine’s Day balloons grounded to avoid outages
PHOENIX — While love may be in the air this Valentine’s Day, Arizona Public Service (APS) would like to make sure that Valentine’s Day balloons don’t wind up in the sky as well.
The electric utility company said in a press release that metallic or Mylar balloons caused 75 power outages in APS’ territory last year.
Those outages resulted in more than 56,000 customers losing power, with one balloon-inflicted incident causing a 13-hour outage.
The main issue with the metallic coating on the balloons is that it conducts electricity, leading to a short circuit or power surge that causes outages to occur.
The end result can range from large-scale outages to injuries to wildlife, pets and people, APS said.
APS asks Phoenicians to use their balloons indoors and away from power lines, as even the smallest balloon can get ensnared and cause a power outage.
Other recommendations from APS include attaching a weight to the end of a balloon string to keep it tethered and avoid any playtime with balloons under or near power lines.
APS also asks that people make sure the balloons are properly deflated and disposed of when no longer in use.