PG&E Urges Customers To Keep Metallic Balloons Secure For Valentine's Day Celebrations

  PG&E Urges Customers To Keep Metallic Balloons Secure For Valentine's Day

Metallic Balloons That Contact Electric Lines Can Cause Power Outages and

PR Newswire

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 13, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb.13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --With Valentine's Day festivities
taking place this week, many customers will celebrate with helium-filled
metallic balloons. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) urges customers to
think safety first and securely tie a weight to all metallic balloons
containing helium to prevent them from floating away. Metallic balloons that
contact overhead power lines can disrupt electric service to an entire
neighborhood, cause significant property damage and potentially result in
serious personal injuries.

Last year, metallic balloons that drifted into PG&E power lines caused nearly
290 outages, affecting electric service to more than 134,000 homes and
businesses throughout Northern and Central California. Sometimes these outages
interrupt electric service to important facilities such as hospitals, schools
and traffic lights. A video and photos detailing the damage that can result
from metallic balloons coming into contact with power lines can be found on
PG&E's Currents website.

The number of power outages caused by metallic balloons in PG&E's service area
has more than doubled over the past decade. In order to significantly reduce
this number 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:

  o"Look Up and Live!" Use caution and avoid celebrating with metallic
    balloons near overhead electric lines.
  oMake sure helium-filled metallic balloons are securely tied to a weight
    that is heavy enough to prevent them from floating away. Never remove the
  oWhen possible, keep metallic balloons indoors, especially if accessible to
    small children. Never permit metallic balloons to be released outside, for
    everyone's safety.
  oDo not bundle metallic balloons together.
  oNever 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.
  oNever 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.

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 20,000 employees, the company
delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern
and Central California. For more information, visit and

For high-resolution B-roll and related video content, please click on the
following link:

SOURCE Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)

Contact: PG&E External Communications - (415) 973-5930
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