Imperial, California - Due to recent power outages caused by metallic balloons made of Mylar, Imperial Irrigation District wishes to remind customers to not release these balloons into the outdoors.

On Monday, 876 IID customers in the Coachella Valley were without power for about 45 minutes when, around 2:15 p.m., Mylar balloons came into contact with an energized power line in the Indio area.

The metallic coating on these balloons conducts electricity and can cause a short circuit or power surge when in contact with power lines.

This can lead to large-scale power outages, melting of electrical wires, and fires, leading to possible injuries and property damage. In addition, outages caused by balloons can result in significant inconvenience for residents and businesses.

To reduce the risk of outages and potential injury, IID suggests the following tips to safely and properly handle Mylar balloons:

  • Never release a Mylar balloon outdoors.
  • Keep Mylar balloons away from power lines.
  • Use balloon weights.
  • Never use metallic ribbons with metallic balloons.
  • Always deflate metallic balloons and dispose of them properly when no longer in use.

If you see a metallic balloon that has contacted a power line, keep yourself, your equipment, and all other items and people at least 20 feet away and report it by calling IID at 1-800-303-7756. Always assume that power lines are energized.