Mylar Balloons Causing 26% More Power Outages Over Past Five Years
(NEWARK, N.J. – July 31, 2020) Public Service Electric & Gas, New Jersey’s largest utility, has experienced a 26% increase in outages caused by Mylar balloons over the past five years including several this month, yet keeping such hazards away from power lines is essential to public safety. PSE&G encourages customers to properly handle and dispose of Mylar balloons to prevent them from drifting into power lines and causing power outages.
Earlier this year, Mylar balloons caused several noteworthy PSE&G outages, including one that lasted only about one minute yet affected more than 5,200 customers in Newark and another that lasted 49 minutes and affected more than 4,200 customers in Carteret.
The metallic coating on Mylar balloons conducts electricity. Because of this, when a Mylar balloon touches a power line or floats into substation equipment it can cause a short circuit. This contact can lead to downed wires, power outages, fires and injuries.
The safety of our customers is always PSE&G’s top priority. To reduce the risk of outages and injuries, customers should keep the following safety tips in mind:
- NEVER touch a power line. Do not attempt to retrieve a balloon, kite, or other types of toys or debris entangled in an overhead power line or substation. Call PSE&G to report the problem at 1-800-436-7734 so our crews can remove the item safely.
- Keep Mylar balloons and other decorations away from overhead power lines and all utility equipment.
- Do not fly kites or hold Mylar balloons in the rain, during electrical storms nor while crossing streets.
- Keep balloons tethered at all times. Make sure balloons are secured to a weight that is heavy enough to prevent them from floating away.
- Always dispose of Mylar balloons properly by safely puncturing the balloon in several places to release the helium that otherwise could cause the balloon to float away.
For more information, visit PSE&G’s safety tips.
Public Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G) is New Jersey’s oldest and largest gas and electric delivery public utility, serving three-quarters of the state’s population. PSE&G is the winner of the ReliabilityOne Award for superior electric system reliability. PSE&G is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (PSEG) (NYSE:PEG), a diversified energy company. PSEG has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for North America for 12 consecutive years.