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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.

Jim Cross, Reporter

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