Don’t Be the Cause of a Power Outage

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As outdoor party season is here, Public and Media Relations Manager with Ameren Illinois, Brian Bretsch, reminds folks of safely using Mylar balloons, more commonly known as party foil balloons, as their metallic coating is a conductor of electricity and can lead to power outages if they touch a power line or become tangled in substation equipment:

“We just ask that after the party, whether they are Mylar balloons or latex balloons, instead of releasing them into the air, causing power outages or wildlife can get entangled with these balloons and cause problems, we are just simply asking that at the end of your celebration that you cut the end of the balloon off and just release that helium and just fold them up and properly dispose of them. One other little tip, this is a great reminder for parents or grandparents, if you are at a celebration, a lot of times we will see kids with that super long ribbon tied to the end of a balloon. We also ask that you be very mindful and know where the power lines are. We would hate for a young child to be running around in a backyard and come in contact with a power line.”

Last year alone, there were 582 balloon related power outages across the United States, impacting 800,000 customers. Over the last three years in Ameren’s service territory in Illinois and Missouri there were 50 balloon related power outages, impacting around 9,000 customers.

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