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For Immediate Release

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ComEd Media Relations

(312) 394-3500

Don’t Let Your Party Decorations Be the Cause of Power Outages

​More than 7,000 customers lost power in April due to balloon-power line contact - last year 52,000 outages were caused by foil balloons

CHICAGO (May 25, 2016) – Warm weather brings outdoor parties for graduations, birthdays and weddings. However, these can lead to power outages when foil balloons, also known as Mylar balloons, from those festivities come into contact with power lines.

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.

Foil balloons were the cause of more than 7,000 customer interruptions in April and more than 52,000 customer interruptions in 2015.

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 foil 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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