(WJW) — Love is in the air, which means a popular Valentine’s Day gift might be also.
FirstEnergy on Monday is reminding customers about the public safety risks associated with helium-filled foil balloons, the company said in a press release.
“While these balloons have increased in popularity as decorations, they continue to cause power outages each year when released outdoors because their metallic coating conducts electricity and poses a risk to the electric system,” the release said.
FirstEnergy said foil balloons in 2022 were to blame for 102 power outages across FirstEnergy’s six-state service area. That’s an 18% decrease in balloon-related outages from 2021 and 25% from 2020.
Customers are encouraged to keep the following balloon safety tips in mind:
- Don’t bring metallic balloons near overhead electric lines.
- Do tie helium-filled metallic balloons to a weight that is heavy enough to prevent them from floating away. Do not remove the weight until the balloons are deflated.
- Puncture and deflate metallic balloons when you’re done using them because they can stay inflated for several weeks. Never release them into the sky.
- Never attempt to retrieve any type of balloon, kite or toy that becomes caught in a power line. Leave it alone and immediately call FirstEnergy at 888-544-4877 to report the problem.
Click here to learn about FirstEnergy’s “Stop. Look. Live.” safety campaign to help educate residents about staying safe around electricity and near power lines and equipment.