SAFETY

Mylar balloon: don’t let it go!

Feb 14, 2020, 5:49 PM | Updated: Feb 15, 2020, 10:21 am
Mylar balloon warning...
Representatives from Rocky Mountain Power have an electrifying message about those Mylar balloons you got from your sweetie. (Photo credit: Getty Images)
(Photo credit: Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — Losing or throwing away your Mylar balloon may create something you never expected — a power outage.

Power companies say we should just let the balloon meet its demise the natural way — by slowly losing air until it lays itself down at your feet with the gentle message, “it’s time.”

And, whatever you do, don’t let go of a Mylar balloon while you’re outside. It’s much better for anybody served by an electric company if you just keep those Mylar balloons coraled inside.

Mylar balloons conduct electricity

You read right. Mylar balloons are made of two materials, nylon (the mylar) and foil. The metallic foil part of the balloon can conduct electricity.

Let them go outside and they get caught up in power lines?

“They can cause a lot of problems to our system and create outages,” said Tiffany Erickson a spokeswoman for Rocky Mountain Power.  She spoke with KSL Newsradio host Jeff Caplan on Friday afternoon.

The Mylar balloon’s metallic or foil coating conducts electricity. The balloon can cause either a power surge or a short circuit if it flies into power lines.

“Last year,” she said,” Mylar balloons caused 60 outages in our three-state territory.”

She admits that 60 outages may not seem like much in a territory that covers three states, but, “outages are inconvenient for anybody [especially] when they can be easily prevented.”

Safety tips for Mylar balloons

The easiest way to keep a Mylar balloon from getting entangled in power lines is to keep them inside. They can brighten up any room!

If there’s more than one they usually end up hanging out in a corner together and, as mentioned above, begin to get smaller and less joyful. They’ll give up their ghost about two weeks after you receive them.

If you simply must take your Mylar balloon outside (for example, if your child is insisting) make sure those little fingers grip that ribbon tightly.

Perhaps tie it around their wrist. In some cultures, this is exactly how parents keep track of their children. So there’s that benefit, too.

When the party’s over

There’s one more thing you should know about Mylar balloon safety. Once they’ve deflated, they must be disposed of properly.

Their threat to power lines is minimized, but their threat is just beginning … for the birds. They’ve been known to pick out deflated Mylar balloons from unsecured trash, and yes, after all of your conscientious work the balloons have ended up in the wires anyway.

Like our light bulbs and electric appliances, getting rid of Mylar balloons has become complicated.

But somewhere a bird will thank you.

 

 

Today’s Top Stories

Safety

The Kaysville Fourth of July Parade is canceled after a medical emergency....
Kira Hoffelmeyer

8-year-old girl in critical condition after getting injured at Kaysville parade

KAYSVILLE, Utah — An 8-year-old has been critically injured during the Kaysville City Fourth of July parade. Kaysville Police say the girl was taken to a hospital for her injuries. This happened at 175 S. Main St in Kaysville. It’s unclear if the child fell off the float and was hit, or if she was […]
21 hours ago
Tooele City announced its firework restrictions Sunday evening. Photo Credit: Tooele City's Faceboo...
Devin Oldroyd

Tooele City releases fireworks restrictions map

Tooele City announced its firework restrictions Sunday evening.
2 days ago
Map of Layton City firework restrictions...
Waverly Golden

Layton City is under extreme firework restrictions

A Facebook post by Layton City said a firework ban is in place east of Highway 89 and hazard zones. Citations will be issued for violations.
3 days ago
Photo of Riverton Police, the ones who sent out the amber alert, vehicle...
Mark Jones

8-year-old boy struck by car in Riverton, suffers head injury

Riverton police an 8-year-old boy suffered a head injury Friday night after a collision with a vehicle. The boy was transported to Primary Children's Hospital.
4 days ago
Utah deadliest days UHP investigates double fatal accident....
Mark Jones

One person dead in three-vehicle crash in southern Utah

The Utah Highway Patrol reports that one person died Friday following a three-vehicle crash in southern Utah. One other person was transported to the hospital with injuries.
4 days ago
Herbert Cox statement Reyes election lawsuit...
Mark Jones

State of Utah files lawsuit against pharmaceutical retailers

Three pharmaceutical retailers are facing a lawsuit from the State of Utah. The lawsuit was filed the week of July 1.
4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.