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PG&E asks lovebirds to help prevent power outages this Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day balloons
Posted at 11:54 AM, Feb 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-09 14:56:23-05

With Valentine's Day just a few days away, PG&E is reminding Californians celebrating to keep metallic balloons secure.

The utility warns if balloons -- particularly metallic ones -- touch overhead power lines, they may cause a power outage, damage property or result in serious injuries.

Lovebirds should make sure to keep Valentine's Day balloons inside and weighted down.

According to PG&E, in 2020 metallic balloons caused 453 power outages in its service areas in Northern and Central California. This resulted in disrupted service to more than 250,000 homes and businesses. The top five cities in PG&E's coverage area that reported balloon-related outages are Bakersfield, San Jose, Oakland, Stockton, and San Francisco.

"Metallic balloons are an easy way to make at-home celebrations more festive, but nothing puts a damper on a romantic evening faster than a widespread power outage you, your friends or your neighbors," said Ken Wells, Vice President, Electric Distribution, PG&E.

This year, due to the pandemic, only 21% of people celebrating Valentine's Day are planning an evening out, the lowest in 17 years, according to a National Retail Federation survey.