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For Immediate Release

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ComEd Media Relations

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Keep Love, Not Mylar Balloons, in the Air This Valentine’s Day

Foil balloons released into the air can lead to power outages and safety hazards

CHICAGO (Feb. 11, 2022) – As couples cuddle up for Valentine's Day, ComEd reminds them not to spoil the mood by releasing foil, or Mylar, balloons that can become entangled in power lines and cause power outages or even fires.

Foil balloons cause power outages for almost 75,000 ComEd customers every year, especially during Valentine's Day and graduation season.

"Customers rely on ComEd to provide reliable power every day. When it comes to Mylar balloons, we rely on customers to enjoy them responsibly," said Melissa Washington, senior vice-president of Customer Operations for ComEd. "We hope that everyone celebrates Valentine's Day safely by keeping Mylar balloons indoors and disposing of them properly."

When foil balloons, even a single balloon, contact power lines or electrical equipment, their Mylar properties can cause an electric surge that can lead to power outages and fires. A release of many balloons can disrupt power in a wide area. Helium-filled foil balloons can float for days and can have negative impacts on neighborhoods, the environment and critical first response facilities like hospitals, parks, cemeteries.

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 foil 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.

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ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), a Fortune 200 energy company with approximately 10 million electricity and natural gas customers – the largest number of customers in the U.S. ComEd powers the lives of more than 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 FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

© Commonwealth Edison Company, 2022. All Rights Reserved.