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ComEd Media Relations

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ComEd Reminds Residents to Practice Balloon Safety During Graduation Season Celebrations

Foil balloons released into the air, may pose a risk to power lines

CHICAGO (May 14, 2020) – While traditional graduation celebrations have been cancelled due to social distancing measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic, many families and students will opt for at-home celebrations to honor the class of 2020. Home celebrations can be a great way to honor graduates but, along with the cake and flowers, ComEd warns customers to be cautious of foil balloons that may float off and cause damage to outdoor power lines.

"ComEd extends a heartfelt congratulations to the class of 2020 who have persevered to achieve their educational goals at all levels," said Rich Negrin, vice president of external affairs at ComEd "During this challenging time, we know that families are eager to celebrate their graduates. ComEd supports those celebrations and encourages customers to be safe while transporting and displaying celebratory balloons."

Foil balloons, also known as Mylar balloons, are popular buys at party stores and local markets. While they are pretty to admire, the colorful floating decorations can also pose a potential risk, if released into the air. When Mylar balloons come into contact with power lines or electrical equipment, their Mylar properties can cause an electric surge that can lead to power outages and fires. Every year, thousands of residents across northern Illinois are affected by power outages caused by Mylar balloons. The increase in reported issues is often seen during graduation season.

Helium-filled foil balloons also have the tendency to float for days, which could have a potential negative impact on neighborhoods, critical first response facilities like hospitals, and the environment. ComEd encourages customers to reduce foil balloon-related power outages and ensure safety by following these helpful tips:

  • Keep balloons secured inside of homes or attached to weights if displayed outside
  • Properly dispose of Mylar balloons by puncturing them to release helium and prevent escape
  • Refrain from touching a power line to retrieve a balloon or any object entangled with electrical equipment
  • Assume power lines are always live and keep a safe distance of at least 10 feet from active lines
  • Call ComEd at 1-800-EDISON-1 (1-800-334-7661) for assistance

For more tips to keep you safe this graduation season and beyond, visit ComEd.com.

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Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: 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, Instagram and YouTube.


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