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Orange and Rockland Utilities Warns About the Risks of Metallic Balloon Use

No summer celebration is complete these days, it seems, without the ultimate versatile party decoration – the metallic balloon.

As a single, shiny, floating sphere or as a clustered bouquet of multi-colored-and-metallic silver, these balloons have become the favorite party favor. They can bring a sparkle to almost any celebration, making it seem more festive and fun, but they are not always the welcome centerpiece to every picnic. Sometimes, because of their metallic coating, they can conduct electricity and represent a public safety risk. Other times they can interfere with electric power-lines and cause service outages.

Here are some facts from Orange and Rockland Utilities (O&R) about the responsible and safe use of metallic balloons:

  • Do not tie a metallic balloon to a child’s wrist or a dog’s collar. If the balloon contacts electricity, that charge can travel through the balloon and into the child or dog, causing serious injury or death.
  • Keep metallic balloons indoors when possible or make sure they are securely tied down.
  • Never release helium-filled metallic balloons into the air. They can become tangled in power lines and interfere with electric service reliability.
  • Do not bundle metallic balloons together. That increases the chances of their interfering with overhead electrical services or other equipment.
  • If metallic balloons do get loose and stray into power lines, do not attempt to retrieve the balloons. That would be extremely dangerous. Call O&R at 1-877-434-4100 and report the incident so the energy experts can safely deal with the situation.
  • Once the party’s over, puncture the metallic balloon in several places to deflate it and then dispose of it in a closed trash can or container.

Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc. (O&R) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc., one of the nation’s largest investor-owned energy companies. O&R is a regulated utility that provides electric service to approximately 300,000 customers in southeastern New York State (where its franchise name is Orange & Rockland) and northern New Jersey (where it’s Rockland Electric Company), and natural gas service to approximately 130,000 customers in New York.