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ComEd Media Relations

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ComEd Reminds Customers to Keep Foil Balloons Away from Power Lines

Metallic properties of balloons caused more than 200,000 customer interruptions in the last four years.

CHICAGO (February 12, 2016) – While love is in the air this Valentine's Day, foil balloons, also known as Mylar, in the air can lead to power outages when they come into contact with power lines.  From 2011 – mid-2015, more than 240,000 customer interruptions occurred because of foil balloon contact.

When a foil balloon contacts a power line or a part of substation equipment, its metallic properties can cause a surge of electricity that can, in turn, cause the equipment to short-circuit. And the spark could lead to a power outage or fire.

ComEd encourages customers to help reduce foil balloon-related power outages and ensure safety by keeping the following tips in mind:

  • Keep balloons tethered at all times and attached to weights.
  • Properly dispose of Mylar balloons by puncturing the balloon to release helium that otherwise could cause the balloon to float away.
  • NEVER touch a power line. Do not attempt to retrieve a balloon or toy that is entangled in an overhead power line. For assistance, call ComEd at 1-800-EDISON-1 (800-334-7661).
  • Always assume power lines are live and keep yourself, your belongings and anything you are carrying at least 10 feet away from power lines.

ComEd customers can learn about more safety tips for the season by visiting ComEd.com.

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Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with approximately 10 million customers. ComEd provides service to approximately 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit ComEd.com, and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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