SCE and LA Fire Dept. highlight metallic balloon safety

LOS ANGELES – Southern California Edison (SCE) and the Los Angeles County Fire Department held a metallic balloon safety demonstration on Friday, May 9, at the Southern California Flower Market as part of National Electrical Safety Month to raise awareness on keeping the balloons tied down properly.

As required by law, California Penal Code Section 653.1 states that all balloons must be kept secured to a weight and never release them outdoors during the occasional important events (such as Mother’s Day, senior proms and graduations).

SCE consumer affairs manager Marlyn Denter educated the public on handling metallic balloons.

“Make sure to keep and tie down the metallic balloons indoors to prevent power outages. Pop out, cut and dispose them safely,” Denter said.

LA County Fire Department Inspector Scott Miller advised the public not to attempt to remove metallic balloons from the power lines by themselves (which can cause unfortunate accidents like fires, injuries and death), and to call the SCE electrical safety professionals instead.

According to SCE, 33 percent of 689 outages in 2013 were caused by metallic balloons hitting power lines, including the 70 outages in April and 116 in May (causing 2,454 hours of power interruptions in homes and businesses over 12 months).

The small-scale safety demonstration was led by SCE lineman Robert Rocha. SCE balloons weights were also provided to the public.

(LA Weekend May 17-20, 2014 Sec A pg.6)

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