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Celebrate Safely With Metallic Balloons

Securing them helps prevent outages, safety problems that peak in June.
By Paul Netter and Larry Tsuei

Spanish/ Chinese / Korean / Vietnamese

June is one of four months comprised of 30 days, ends on the same day of the week as March every year and has the longest daylight hours in the Northern Hemisphere.

But for Southern California Edison and public safety experts, June has an additional, more foreboding meaning. It is traditionally the peak month for power outages caused by metallic balloons. This is almost certainly because of releases during its celebrations, notably graduations, weddings and Father’s Day.

There is nothing to celebrate, however, for the hundreds of thousands of people and businesses affected annually when the released balloons subsequently end up in power lines. SCE has experienced an average of 132 balloon-related outages in June over the last five years, with only May’s average of 112 outages coming close.

More hazardously, the balloons can explode in power lines and bring them down (which happened 111 times last year), potentially leading to serious injuries and property damage.

With SCE launching a “Stay Aware. Stay Safe.” campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of released metallic balloons, follow these tips to avoid the disruptions and risks created by the popular gifts:
 

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