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Mylar Balloons Can Be Trouble If Released Outside

Pexels.com Danielle Truckenmiller

You likely haven't thought of this, but those happy Mylar balloons that are purchased to celebrate graduations and other summer events can become a power blackout for your neighborhood and beyond.

Wisconsin Public Service reports they've had calls over the years as these balloons rise up and touch power lines causing an outage.

WPS spokesperson Matt Cullen says if celebrants don't pay attention to what happens to the metallic balloons, it could cause problems...

"The coating on the balloons allows electricity to pass across the balloon's surface. For our customers at WPS, Mylar balloons have contributed to customers losing more than 1,100 hours of electric service in the past five years..."

Cullen says the metallic coating on the balloons acts as an electrical conductor and transfers power across the metallic surface to pieces of the overhead electrical equipment. He says there's a few easy ways to keep the balloons from floating to the wrong place....

"...keeping Mylar balloons securely tied to a weight, never releasing them outdoors, and deflating those balloons and throwing them away when they are done.. If there should be a situation where the balloon does become involved with the overhead lines, it's very important not to touch that metallic balloon or anything that's connected to that balloon..."

Cullen says customers who spot a balloon tangled in electrical equipment should report it to WPS. He says their crew will determine what repairs need to be done.

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