SALINAS, Calif. - While balloons are a pretty common gift for Valentine’s Day, PG*E is warning central coast residents of the dangers they pose.
They urge caution when using metallic balloons. They say there are more of these balloons sold around valentines than any other holiday, a recipe for potential power outages.
Since the balloons are metallic… they conduct electricity and pose a threat to power lines if released in the air.
We went to downtown salinas today to find out if people were giving these types of balloons to their loved ones. And even though valentines isn’t until tomorrow… for downtown Salinas, love is already in the air.
Noreen Erwin, Marina resident, describes her loved one.
“Walter is the most wonderful man in the whole world. He’s just great. They say, you know the second time around is a lot better… well it definitely is”
Mike Miller from Salinas says, “Well she’s from Tokyo, japan and she has who own business in Carmel and she’s the love of my life”
And with her being the life of his life... Of course he treats her right.
Mike miller, “the same gift i give her every year and she doesn’t complain. So i give her flowers and a romantic card.
And for Noreen… it’s all about the little things, “Well sometimes he’s given me pajamas and sometimes candy… but the thing I like best is a little bottle of wine.”
But among the most popular gifts around the holiday is balloons...and
Officials warn the metallic ones are more dangerous than they look.
PG&E said there were 37 power outages last year on the central coast… all due to balloons like this. What happens is people get into a rush, forget to put the weight on the balloon and they let it go… the balloon goes up, the power goes out”
And of those power outages 6 of them were in Salinas and 5 in Watsonville. Causing more than 19,000 customers to be without power.
PG&E says the best way to prevent this problem is to put a weight on the
Balloon which will prevent it from flying away… which actually a law is in
Officials also say that when you are done with the balloons don't
Release them... Instead puncture them several times and throw them away.
Some other info:
Last year, metallic balloons were the cause of 456 power outages across PG&E’s service area in Northern and Central California, disrupting electric service to more than 371,000 homes and businesses. These types of power outages have more than tripled over the past decade in PG&E’s service area.
The top five cities for balloon-caused outages in 2017 in PG&E’s service area in Northern and Central California are:
- San Jose: 25
- Fresno: 14
- Oakland: 11
- Bakersfield: 11
- San Francisco: 10