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Warning: What goes up can be a special occasion downer

ROSEMEAD, Calif., June 5, 2012 — Southern California Edison (SCE) salutes graduates and celebrants and reminds them to handle and dispose of balloons properly to avoid causing power outages.

When released into the sky, helium-filled metallic balloons may drift into high voltage lines, causing short circuits, burned wires, damage to electrical equipment and service interruptions. Balloon-related outages typically peak in June and July, during graduations and around Father’s Day and Fourth of July.

SCE recommends the following safety rules when handling balloons, especially metallic (also known as Mylar) ones:

  • 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.
  • Keep balloons indoors, and never release them outside.
  • Never attach metallic streamers to any type of balloon.
  • Be sure to secure a helium-filled balloon with a weight heavy enough to prevent it from drifting away and coming into contact with high voltage lines. (It is unlawful to sell metallic balloons without a string weight.)

 Also, keep these electrical safety tips in mind:

  • If you see a downed power line, do not approach it or touch the line or any person or object in contact with the downed line.
  • If you see a downed power line, call 911 immediately and inform the operator it is an electrical emergency.

 For more on metallic balloon safety, please visit

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 4.9 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California.  


SCE Cautions Customers When Celebrating with Balloons