Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

For Immediate Release


Pepco Reminds Customers to Keep Foil Balloons Away From Power Lines

WASHINGTON D.C. (Feb. 14, 2017) - While that special someone may catch your eye this Valentine's Day, don't lose sight of foil-coated or metallic balloons that can lead to outages when they come into contact with power lines. Untethered balloons cause unnecessary electric service interruptions each year that affect thousands of Pepco customers. These balloons also have been known to float for days and can end up having a negative impact on the environment.

When foil-coated balloons contact a power line or other electric equipment, their metallic properties can cause a surge of electricity that can impede equipment. These types of outages are preventable. 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. For assistance, call Pepco at 1-877-PEPCO-62 (1-877-737-2662).
  • Always assume power lines are energized and keep yourself, your belongings and anything you are carrying at least 10 feet away at all times.

  Find additional information about Pepco by visiting Follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter at Our mobile app is available at

© Potomac Electric Power Company, 2023. All Rights Reserved.