Supporting Customers

Don’t let the shine of mylar balloons dim your lights

May 9, 2024

Mylar balloons are like the rockstars of the party world – they come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, and they’ve got that irresistible metallic sheen that just screams “celebration!” Whether celebrating a birthday, a graduation, or just the fact that it’s Thursday, mylar balloons are there to add that extra pop to any occasion.

“Mylar balloons are a delightful addition to any celebration, but it’s important to handle them with caution,” said Kristina Anderson, Senior Business Analyst at ComEd. “Their metallic properties make them attractive, but they can also conduct electricity and cause surges or outages if they come into contact with power lines.”

In 2023, there were 257 reported instances of mylar balloon-related outages, leaving around 55,000 customers in the dark. 62 percent of these were ComEd’s Chicago customers.

While 2023 saw an increase in mylar balloon-related outages over the prior year, with most of these outages occurring during the warmer weather season, ComEd is providing tips on how to keep celebrations and your lights shining bright:

  • Fly mylar balloons indoors. If outside, make sure they are tied tightly to a weight that will hold them to the ground.
  • Deflate the balloons completely after using and dispose of them responsibly.
  • Never release them into the sky where they can pose a threat to power lines.
  • If you spot a stray balloon dangerously close to power lines, don’t hesitate to contact ComEd for assistance at 1-800-EDISON-1 (800-334-7661).
  • Always assume power lines are live and keep yourself, your belongings and anything you are carrying at least 10 feet away from power lines.

“By following simple precautions, such as proper disposal and avoiding power lines, you and others can enjoy your festivities without worry,” mentioned Kristina. “In addition to power hazards, these balloons can float for days—they are not biodegradable— if not properly disposed of, they can have a deadly impact on wildlife.”

Keeping mylar balloons out of the sky and away from power lines is key to keeping the lights on and the celebrations going safely this season!