Valentine's Day worries: Balloons could cause problems - KMSP-TV

Valentine's Day worries: Balloons could cause problems with power lines

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) -

There's a Valentine's Day gift out there that's put APS on "red" alert so to say.  Those mylar balloons a causing a big worry -- if they're not disposed of properly, thousands of people could lose power.

You've found the right card, the gift and paid for it all and the plan to pick up the balloons last.

If not disposed of properly, you may not have known -- those celebratory mylar balloons can cause some big problems if they land in power lines.

"It can go simply from tripping the breaker and a switch to going to being more serious.. because it may cause some damage to our system that we have to go out and repair, so it can be for a momentary outage or a more extended outage -- we want to avoid them all together," said APS' Damon Gross.

APS gave us a tip: attach something like a weight on the end of the balloons.

"Over the last five years, APS has experienced 130 confirmed outages as a result of mylar balloons getting into our power lines.  Those outages have affected nearly 100,000 of our customers," said Gross.

A costly problem that happens each and every year, mostly around Valentine's Day and graduations.

Another tip: pop the balloons before putting them into the trash -- then there's no concern for them landing in power lines.

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