PG&E: Power Outages Spike at Valentine's Day

Mylar balloons that fly away get tangled on power lines and cause outages.

Come mid-February, PG&E has a new nemesis — those shiny, heart-shaped, metallic-looking balloons. 

Mylar balloons have caused hundreds of power outages over the years, with the number increasing by more than 100 percent since 2003. 

According to PG&E, balloons that are let loose often get entangled in power lines, causing the power to cut, disrupting neighborhoods and can threatening to cause serious injury. 

The chart below (also in the photos section) shows the growing number of balloon-related power outages over the last decade.

Year Balloon-related power outages 2003 129 2006 142 2009 213 2012 288

So this Valentine’s Day, public works crews and PG&E ask you to tie those balloons to something safe, or keep them inside and deflate them once the holiday is over.

And remember, just because balloon goes flat doesn't mean your love has.

David Randolph February 15, 2013 at 04:05 PM
Dumbest thing in the world are these tacky balloons.
Craig Belfor February 15, 2013 at 06:36 PM
What a great idea! You give your main squeeze a heart shaped Mylar ballon, some wine, and then the lights go out!
Craig Belfor February 15, 2013 at 06:40 PM
My favorite day is February 15th, the day after Valentines, when all of those chocolate hearts go on sale at the drug store. We true chocolate lovers call Valentine's day amateur hour.


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