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On Valentine’s Day, Let Hearts Soar, Not Metallic Balloons

Sep 20, 2023

Posted by: SNO Staff February 14, 2023 01,029 Views

MOUNTAIN COMMUNITIES — More metallic balloons are sold for Valentine's Day than any other holiday and, not surprisingly, it's also around this time of year that Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) sees an uptick in outages caused by metallic balloons drifting into overhead power lines.

Image by Denise Husted.

Last year, metallic balloons caused 415 power outages across PG&E's service area in Northern and Central California, disrupting electric service to more than 210,000 homes and businesses.

Unlike latex helium balloons, metallic balloons can stay inflated and floating for two to three weeks – posing a hazard to power lines and equipment even days after being released outside.

Jeff Deal.

"On Valentine's Day, nothing puts a damper on a romantic evening faster than a widespread power outage. If your February 14 plans include metallic balloons, please keep them tied down with a weight. If they contact our overhead lines they can disrupt electric service to an entire neighborhood, cause significant property damage and potentially result in serious injuries," said Jeff Deal, PG&E's Vice President of Electric Distribution Operations.

Here's a video example of what can happen when metallic balloons hit utility power lines.

In 2022, PG&E supported a new metallic balloon law that will enhance the safety of PG&E coworkers, customers and hometowns. California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 847, which allows Mylar or metallic balloons to be sold in California only if those balloons do not cause electrical faults when contacting overhead distribution lines.

The new legislation bans sales of non-compliant celebratory balloons after Jan. 1, 2027.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is a combined natural gas and electric utility serving more than 16 million people across 70,000 square miles in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit and

Check out this short video on the further dangers of Mylar balloons!

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MOUNTAIN COMMUNITIES Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) Jeff Deal video example Gavin Newsom Assembly Bill 847 In the meantime, PG&E reminds customers to follow these important safety tips for metallic balloons: 800-743-5000 PG&E Corporation SNO Staff