MAYS LANDING — With graduations and outdoor events that bring many families and friends together to celebrate, Atlantic City Electric reminds customers not to let foil balloons put a damper on a celebration.
Foil balloons, also known as Mylar balloons, can wreak havoc on the electric grid. Untethered balloons cause Atlantic City Electric customers to experience unnecessary power outages every year. These balloons also have been known to float for days and can end up having a negative impact on the environment, expecially on marine animals.
Foil balloons have a metallic coated shell and when they contact an electric power line can cause significant damage, leading to power outages. From 2018-2022, 1,940 Atlantic City Electric customers experienced an outage due to a foil balloon contacting electric infrastructure. That caused approximately 1,750 hours customers spent without power, or 63 minutes per customer over the same time. Already in 2023, 1,917 Atlantic City Electric customers have experienced a power outage caused by balloons.
Residents should know that it is illegal to intentionally release lighter-than-air balloons in many New Jersey municipalities.
Here’s a few tips from Atlantic City Electric to help reduce the potential for future power outages as a result of foil balloons:
Always keep balloons tethered or attached to weights.
- Properly dispose of foil balloons by puncturing a hole to release helium that otherwise could cause the balloon to float away.
- Consider an alternate way to celebrate special holidays and events that doesn’t involve balloons. Check out https://www.preventballoonlitter.org/ for unique ideas on how to celebrate, remember and honor the people who impact our lives without the use of balloons.
If a balloon is tangled in a power line, do not attempt to retrieve it. Always assume lines are energized and keep yourself, your belongings and anything you are touching at least 10 feet away at all times. For assistance, call Atlantic City Electric at 800-833-7476.
At Atlantic City Electric, safety is a top priority. Whether changing a light bulb, inspecting insulation or planting a tree, please work safely. Always be mindful of overhead wires when using a ladder and keep any equipment at least 10 feet away from power lines. Call 811 before starting any project that involves digging to learn the approximate location of underground utility equipment. Planting trees and shrubs, and installing a fence or mailbox are all examples of digging projects where a call to 811 must be one of the first steps.
For more information on electric safety tips, visit atlanticcityelectric.com/Safety.