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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.

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About the Author

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

Favorite food: Steak and shrimp, and any food on campouts.

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

Favorite news memory: 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. The 2007 Southern California Firestorm and being at Sky Harbor Airport when the first plane lifted off several days after 9-11. Seeing the American flag on the tail of the Salt Lake City-bound Delta airliner as it took off still gives me goosebumps.

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

First job: Spinning records at KLER Radio Orofino, Idaho 1980.

First concert: KISS/Cheap Trick 1977 Spokane, WA Coliseum.

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

Outside interests: Sports, camping, fishing, traveling.


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