By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Energy & Ecology -- Records might be made to be broken, but Southern California Edison just experienced one that it never wants to come close to again.
SCE saw an all-time high 924 power outages caused by free-floating metallic balloons last year, far surpassing its previous high of 714 in 2012.
With Valentine's Day near, SCE strongly urges its customers to make sure their balloons are always tied to a weight - as required by California law - and to never release them outdoors because of the thousands of customers left without power when the metallic balloons float into power lines and other electrical equipment.
Serious injuries and property damage can occur when the balloon contact is severe enough to bring down power lines - which happened 96 times last year for SCE. Anyone who sees a downed line or dangling wire - even if it appears not to be live - should not touch or approach it or anything in contact with it and call 911 immediately.
"Metallic balloons look harmless, but there's no way to overstate how dangerous they can be when released outside," said Paul Jeske, SCE's director of Corporate Health and Safety. "Merchants should always ensure that balloons are property weighted and remind their customers to never release them outdoors."
To illustrate the spike in balloon outages that typically begins in February and peaks in June, they rose 82 percent last year from January (33) to February (60), peaking with an all-time monthly high of 152 in June.
Keywords for this news article include: Energy Companies, Southern California Edison.
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