southern california edison

Brief power outage in Cypress caused by mylar balloon

Shortly after 6 p.m. on February 16, residents in Cypress experienced a brief power outage. An inquiry to Southern California Edison received this response:

[W]e had only one outage in the city of Cypress yesterday around 6:08 last night. It lasted only about a minute and was due to a mylar balloon. Unfortunately, mylar balloon-related outage are quite common this time of year as they descend like missiles from the atmosphere after a few days from launch during Valentine’s Day. Similar incidents take place shortly after Mother’s Day and well into June with graduations.

SCE additionally directed focus to the following article written by Energized by Edison writer Taelor Bakewell regarding the dangers of mylar balloons.

Nothing Romantic About Metallic Balloon Outages

Candlelight dinners are not as romantic when they are not planned.

Metallic balloons may seem like the perfect gesture to show how much you care this Valentine’s Day. However, they are the cause of thousands of power outages across Southern California Edison’s service area every year.

“Metallic balloons sound like the perfect gift for the holiday, but if not handled properly, they can not only cause major disruptions but also threaten public safety,” said Andrew Martinez, SCE vice president of Safety, Security & Business Resiliency.

“Never release them outside and always secure them to a weight, as required by state law.”

Last year, balloon-related outages were responsible for almost 420,000 hours of interrupted service and left nearly 1.5 million customers in the dark.

Here are some tips on how to handle metallic balloons safely:

  • Metallic balloons should never be released outdoors.
  • Metallic balloons should always be tied to a weight.
  • Stores and vendors should only sell properly weighted balloons.
  • Keep the balloons indoors when possible.
    Never try to retrieve balloons tangled in power lines or electrical equipment. Call 911 instead.
  • Cut the knot or puncture balloons before disposing of them.