PG&E to Customers: Let Hearts Soar on Valentine's Day, Not Metallic Balloons


OAKLAND, Calif., Feb. 12, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- With Valentine's Day fast approaching, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) reminds customers that sparks – and not just the romantic kind – can fly on February 14 if improperly secured helium-filled metallic balloons come in contact with power lines.

Metallic balloons conduct electricity and if they float into powerlines, they can disrupt electric service to an entire neighborhood, cause significant property damage and potentially result in serious injuries. Here's an example of what can happen when metallic balloons become loose and hit power lines: 

In 2023, metallic balloons striking electric lines caused 332 power outages in PG&E's service area, knocking out power to more than 157,000 homes and business. On average, each customer outage caused by a balloon lasted about 83 minutes.

"Balloons are a fun way to liven up Valentine's celebrations, but if they aren't tied down with a weight, it's easy for them to float into overhead power lines and disrupt service to entire communities. Keep your holidays and hometowns safe by ensuring metallic balloons are secured by a weight," said Ron Richardson, Vice President of Electric Distribution Operations at PG&E.

In order to significantly reduce the number of balloon-caused outages and to help ensure that everyone can safely enjoy their Valentine's Day, PG&E reminds customers to follow these important safety tips for metallic balloons:

  • "Look Up and Live!" Use caution and avoid celebrating with metallic balloons near overhead electric lines.
  • Make sure helium-filled metallic balloons are securely tied to a weight that is heavy enough to prevent them from floating away. Never remove the weight.
  • When possible, keep metallic balloons indoors. Never permit metallic balloons to be released outside, for everyone's safety.
  • Do not bundle metallic balloons together.
  • Never attempt to retrieve any type of balloon, kite or toy that becomes caught in a power line. Leave it alone, and immediately call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000 to report the problem.
  • Never go near a power line that has fallen to the ground or is dangling in the air. Always assume downed electric lines are energized and extremely dangerous. Stay far away, keep others away and immediately call 911 to alert the police and fire departments. Other tips can be found at

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 24,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit and


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SOURCE Pacific Gas and Electric Company


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