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Shiny Balloons and the Electric Grid: What You Need to Know

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a damper on many events, including birthdays and graduations, but as families and friends begin to come together again to celebrate these achievements, Pepco reminds you not to lose sight of those foil balloons. MylarWhen foil-coated balloons, also known as Mylar balloons come in contact with a power line or other electric equipment, their metallic properties can cause a surge of electricity that can impede equipment. Untethered balloons cause thousands of unnecessary electric service interruptions each year for Pepco customers. These balloons also have been known to float for days and can end up having a negative impact on the environment.

The good news is that these types of outages are easily preventable. Pepco encourages customers to help reduce foil balloon-related power outages and ensure safety by keeping the following tips in mind:

  • Keep balloons tethered at all times and attached to weights.
  • Properly dispose of foil balloons by puncturing the balloon to release helium that otherwise could cause the balloon to float away.
  • NEVER touch a power line. Do not attempt to retrieve a balloon or toy that is entangled in an overhead power line. For assistance, call Pepco at 1-877-737-2662.
  • Always assume power lines are energized and keep yourself, your belongings and anything you are carrying at least 10 feet away at all times.

Pepco customers can learn more safety tips by visiting