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For Immediate Release


Don't Let Your Party Decorations Cause Power Outages

Washington, DC (June 14, 2016) - Warm weather brings outdoor parties for graduations, birthdays and weddings. However, these can lead to power outages when foil balloons, also known as Mylar balloons, from those festivities come into contact with power lines.

When a foil balloon contacts a power line or a part of substation equipment, its metallic properties can cause a surge of electricity that can, in turn, cause the equipment to short-circuit. And the spark could lead to a power outage or fire.

Outages caused by foil balloons have affected about 7,300 Pepco customers since January 2015.

Pepco encourages customers to help reduce foil balloon-related power outages and ensure safety by keeping the following tips in mind:

Keep balloons tethered at all times and attached to weights.

  • Properly dispose of foil balloons by puncturing the balloon to release helium that otherwise could cause the balloon to float away.
  • NEVER touch a power line. Do not attempt to retrieve a balloon or toy that is entangled in an overhead power line.
  • To report an outage, call Pepco at 1-877-PEPCO-62 (1-877-737-2662).
  • Always assume power lines are live and keep yourself, your belongings and anything you are carrying at least 10 feet away from power lines. 

Pepco customers can learn about more safety tips by visiting

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