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Mylar balloons are sweet idea, but pose danger

PHOENIX -- Everybody loves Valentine's Day balloons. Everybody, that is, except utility companies.

Alan Bunnell with Arizona Public Service said metallic Mylar balloons and the electrical grid don't mix. In the past five years, the aluminum balloons have caused 130 outages after floating into power lines.

"This left about 100,000 customers without service for a total of 33,000 plus customer hours," Bunnell said.

One balloon can cause a short circuit, which can trigger an explosion or melt the electrical wires, Bunnell said. The balloons should be kept indoors and then deflated and thrown away once they are no longer wanted.

"Keep them on a tether with something heavyweight. Keep them tied to a table," Bunnell said.

About the Author

Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.


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