World News: 18:00 GMT Monday 11th February 2019. [Pacific Gas and Electric Company via Businesswire via SPi World News]
Valentine's Day is fast approaching and many customers will celebrate with festive bundles of metallic balloons. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) urges customers to securely tie a weight to all metallic balloons containing helium to prevent them from floating away. Metallic balloons that contact overhead power lines can disrupt electric service to an entire neighborhood, cause significant property damage and potentially result in serious injuries.
Last year, metallic balloons were the cause of 503 power outages across PG&E's service area in Northern and Central California, disrupting electric service to more than 265,000 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.
“We want to make sure all of our customers are able to spend a safe Valentine’s Day with their friends, family and loved ones. Safety doesn’t take a holiday, even on Valentine’s. Please keep metallic balloons away from power lines as they can cause power outages and injuries. Make sure your time is well spent on the 14th by following a few basic safety steps,” said Mike Kress, PG&E’s Senior Director of Field Operations.
The number of power outages caused by metallic balloons in PG&E's service area has more than doubled over the past decade and increased by nearly 6 percent from 2017 to 2018. In order to significantly reduce this number and to help ensure that everyone can safely enjoy their Valentine's Day, PG&E reminds customers to follow these important safety tips for metallic balloons:
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 24,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and www.pge.com/en/about/newsroom/index.page.
Business Wire: 18:00 GMT Monday 11th February 2019
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