Media Contact: Paul Netter, (626) 302-2255

ROSEMEAD, Calif., May 4, 2015 — If there’s a season for everything, May begins the usual peak months for power outages caused by metallic balloons. And this year, those outages are already up 60 percent and at an all-time high for the first four months of any year.

With this happening even before the traditionally most active months for balloon-related outages around Mother’s Day, graduations and proms, Southern California Edison (SCE) urges its customers to always keep those balloons secured to a weight as required by California law and to never release them outdoors. This is especially vital since SCE has had 268 outages through April compared to 168 last year at that point.

“Keep them indoors if possible, but the best way to prevent them from floating dangerously away outdoors is by keeping them tied to that weight or something else sturdy,” said Don Neal, SCE director of Corporate Environmental, Health and Safety. “Not doing so can lead to serious injuries, property damage and outages.”

Injuries and property damage can potentially occur when the balloon contact leads to downed power lines.

May and June have long been the worst months for balloon outages, with 35 percent (230) of SCE’s 656 balloon outages last year occurring in these months. Since 2010, SCE has consistently suffered about one-third of its balloon outages in May and June — twice the number on average than the next two months.

During National Electrical Safety Month, SCE recommends some tips for handling metallic balloons:

  • 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.
  • Never tie a metallic balloon to a child’s wrist. If the balloon comes into contact with electricity, it will travel through the balloon and into the child, possibly causing serious injury or even death.
  • Never attach streamers to any balloon — latex or metallic.
  • When done with them, puncture the balloons or cut the knot to keep them from floating away.
  • If you see a downed line or dangling wire — even if it appears not to be live — don’t touch or approach it and call 911 immediately.

More on metallic balloon safety can be found at Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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.