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Keep those Valentine's Day balloons weighted down tomorrow

Helium-filled Mylar balloons can fly into overhead electric lines, causing power outages

PG&E is asking anyone making a Valentine's Day declaration of love with a Mylar balloon to keep it securely weighted down to avoid problematic encounters with power lines.

Metallic helium-filled Mylar balloons cause 100 to 200 outages that affect thousands of PG&E customers in northern and central California each year, according to the utility.

When these balloons float away they can hit overhead power lines, disrupting service and, in some cases, knocking power lines to the ground.

PG&E advises anyone giving or receiving these balloons to keep them indoors and secured with a weight.

Last year, metallic balloons caused 198 outages in the region, impacting more than 111,000 customers for a combined 9.7 million minutes, according to PG&E.

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