YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – It’s Valentine’s Day and First Energy is using the holiday to get out a message about safety when it comes to gift-giving.
Metallic balloons are very common and part of many gifts and floral arrangements, but they could pose a danger to power service.
The metallic coating on the balloons can conduct electricity. When they drift off and get stuck in high voltage equipment, power outages can happen.
In the past two years, metallic balloons have been linked to over 220 power outages in the Mahoning Valley.
Just last week, service was lost to over 1,000 First Energy customers in the Cleveland area because of a metallic balloon.
“They were without power of a couple of hours due to a balloon betting tangled in our electrical equipment. These balloons certainly do cause power interruptions to our customers,” said First Energy spokesperson Lauren Siburkis.
The balloons are popular and cheap, which is making them more of an issue for the energy company.
“As popularity continues to grow with these balloons so do the number of power outages because customers are simply not aware of the dangers associated with these balloons,” Siburkis said.
First Energy recommends always having a weight at the bottom of the balloons. When you’re done with them, deflate them and either recycle them or throw them away.
If balloons get stuck, never try to get them down yourself call First Energy right away.