Mylar Balloon Disrupts Service to 7,000 Customers in Chicago’s South Suburbs
In 2008, metallic balloons accounted for 52 outages affecting 30,586 customers
When Mylar balloons touch a power line or piece of substation equipment, their metallic properties cause a surge of electricity. The equipment short-circuits, which can then lead to power outages, fires and possible injuries.
This morning’s outage began at
In 2008, metallic balloons caused 52 outages affecting a total of 30,586 customers. The 2008 outages with the four largest customer counts were as follows:
- 7,383 customers on
July 7in Bridgeview, Crestwood, Hickory Hills, Orland Park, Palos Hills, Palos Park, Tinley Parkand Worth.
- 4,059 customers on
Dec. 7in Bellwood, Bensenville, Chicago, Franklin Park, Northlake, River Groveand Schiller Park.
- 3,452 customers on
March 27in Chicago Heights, Lansing, Olympia Fields, Park Forestand South Chicago Heights.
- 1,167 customers on
Dec. 27in Barrington, Barrington Hills, Hoffman Estates, Invernessand South Barrington.
The problem is most prominent in the spring and summer due to graduations and outdoor parties. ComEd offers several suggestions to help keep customers’ lights on:
- Keep metallic and all other types of balloons indoors and away from overhead power lines. (Even non-metallic balloons can become entangled in lines and cause an outage.)
- Keep balloons tethered at all times.
- Never use balloons, kites, model airplanes and other toys near overhead power lines.
- If a balloon or another toy becomes entangled in an overhead power line, don’t attempt to retrieve it. Instead, call ComEd at 800-EDISON-1 (800-334-7661).
- Always assume power lines are live. Always keep yourself, your equipment and all other items, including toys, at least 10 feet away from power lines. NEVER assume that a power line is safe to touch.
For other safety tips, www.ComEd.com.