As Outages Spike, Celebrate Moms and Grads With Secure Metallic Balloons

ROSEMEAD, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Like water
and electricity
, metallic balloons and power lines don’t mix.

And, just like last year, power
outages caused by floating balloons
are on a record pace. After
experiencing an all-time high 924 outages last year, Southern California
Edison, through March, is already 17 percent ahead of that pace with 212
outages compared to 182 at the same point last year.

The 109 balloon outages in March is already a new record, exceeding the
SCE high of 89 reached last year.

With all of this coming even before the months with the most outages —
May and June — and their celebrations of Mother’s Day, Father’s Day,
graduations and proms, SCE urges its customers to make sure their balloons
are always tied to a weight, as required by California law
, and to
never release them outdoors.

“The safest metallic balloon is clearly a secure one,” said Paul Jeske,
SCE’s director of Corporate Health and Safety. “Only
properly weighted balloons should be sold to customers
and buyers
should never remove that weight or release their balloons outdoors
because of the risks to public safety.”

Those risks include serious injuries and property damage that can occur
when the balloon contact is severe enough to bring down power lines —
which happened 96 times last year for SCE. Anyone who sees a downed
line or dangling wire
— even if it appears not to be live — should
not touch or approach it or anything in contact with it and call 911
immediately.

To prevent outages and injuries, SCE recommends some other safety tips
for handling metallic balloons:

  • Do not attempt to retrieve a balloon — or any foreign object — tangled
    in power lines. Instead, call SCE at 800-611-1911 and report the
    problem.
  • Never tie a metallic balloon to a child’s wrist. If the balloon
    contacts electricity, it can travel through the balloon and into the
    child, causing serious injury or death.
  • Never attach streamers to any balloon — latex or metallic.
  • When done with balloons, puncture them several times or cut the knot
    and throw them in the garbage to prevent them from floating away.

More on metallic balloon safety can be found at on.sce.com/staysafe.
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About Southern California Edison

An Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company, Southern California Edison
is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population
of nearly 14 million via 5 million customer accounts in a
50,000-square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern
California.

Contacts

Media
Contact:
Southern California Edison
Paul Netter, 626-302-2255