Press Release

One Loose Balloon Can Really Rain On Your Car Parade

Metallic balloons can cause power outages, fires if they contact electrical equipment

(UNIONDALE, N.Y. – June 9, 2020) June and July are filled with occasions to celebrate, including graduations, birthdays and Father’s Day. And while these celebrations have evolved into car parades and other events to maintain safe social distancing, one thing remains the same: Metallic party balloons can start fires and cause power outages if they drift into overhead electrical wires and equipment.

“The safety of our customers and employees is PSEG Long Island’s top priority,” said John O’Connell, PSEG Long Island’s vice president of Transmission and Distribution Operations. “Mylar balloons add extra festivity to our celebrations, but when released, they do present a threat to our electrical system and the safety of those nearby. We all need reasons to celebrate these days, so let’s spread the word and make sure we don’t let a stray balloon get in the way of that.”

The distinctive metallic coating on Mylar balloons conducts electricity. Because of this, when a Mylar balloon is exposed to a power line, it can cause a short circuit. This short circuit can lead to power outages, fires and possible injuries.

Safety is always PSEG Long Island’s top priority. To reduce the risk of outages and injuries, customers should keep the following safety tips in mind:

  • Mylar balloons and other decorations should be kept away from overhead power lines and equipment.
  • Make sure balloons are secured to a weight that is heavy enough to prevent them from floating away. Keep balloons tethered and attached to the weights at all times.
  • Always properly dispose of Mylar balloons by safely puncturing the balloon in several places to release the helium that otherwise could cause the balloon to float away.
  • NEVER touch a power line. Do not attempt to retrieve a balloon, toy or other type of debris that is entangled in an overhead power line. Call PSEG Long Island to report the problem at 1-800-490-0075 so our crews can remove the item safely.



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PSEG Long Island
PSEG Long Island operates the Long Island Power Authority’s transmission and distribution system under a long-term contract. PSEG Long Island is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (PSEG) (NYSE:PEG), a publicly traded diversified energy company.