Giving balloons instead of candy?

            So you’re tired of bringing candy and flowers to your Valentine every year and you’ve decided to order a big bunch of heart-shaped, helium balloons in metallic red.

            Give you sweetheart a warning with that gift.

            A metallic balloon that touches an overhead power line can knock the power out for a whole neighborhood.

            The metal in the balloon can cause a surge of electricity if it touches a power line, and that can short-circuit equipment. The result could be lights-out for thousands of people; a fire; or injuries.

            Take a few precautions if you’re giving Valentine’s Day balloons this year:

  • Tether each balloon to a weight so it can’t float away.
  • When you’re ready to dispose of the balloons, pop them so they can’t become airborne.
  • Stay at least 10 feet away from power lines if you’re walking outdoors with a balloon.
  • If your balloon happens to get tangled in a power line, leave it there and call your electric cooperative for assistance. You could get electrocuted if you touch a power line.