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For Immediate Release


Don't Let Your Party Decorations Be the Cause of Power Outages

NEWARK, Del. (June 14, 2016) - Warm weather brings outdoor parties for graduations, birthdays and weddings. However, when foil balloons, also known as Mylar balloons, from those festivities come into contact with power lines, outages can occur.  

When a foil balloon contacts a power line or a part of substation equipment, its metallic properties can cause a surge of electricity that can, in turn, cause the equipment to short-circuit. And the spark could lead to a power outage or fire.

Foil balloons were the cause of nearly two dozen service interruptions since January 2015, resulting in almost 1,400 outages with an overall impact to approximately 30,000 Delmarva Power customers  over the past 17 months (roughly an average of 1.5 balloon related incidents per month).

Delmarva Power 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 Delmarva Power at 1-800-375-7117.
  • Always assume power lines are live and keep yourself, your belongings and anything you are carrying at least 10 feet away from power lines.

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