Keep Mylar balloons anchored, say officials

The City of Santa Clara and Silicon Valley Power are reminding the public to be careful with helium-filled Mylar balloons this Valentine’s Day to avoid power outages.

Mylar balloons are coated in a conductive metallic material that can short out power lines and lead to an outage, according to officials.

They’re encouraging residents to take special precautions including keeping balloons tied to a weight, puncture balloons when finished to keep them from floating away and avoid buying clusters of multiple balloons tied together since these are more likely to become entangled in power lines.

Silicon Valley Power is the city’s municipal electric utility that has been in operation since 1896.

If a balloon does get caught in power lines, Silicon Valley Power advises people to stay at least 10 feet away and avoid attempting to retrieve it.

Anyone who finds Mylar balloons caught in power lines is asked to call PG&E at (800) 743-5000 or 311.

Santa Clara residents may call Silicon Valley Power at (408) 615-5640.