New Years Eve celebrations are about releasing the old year and continuing into the new, but it does not include metallic balloons.

With celebrations underway, San Diego Gas and Electric reminds customers to be cautious with releasing inflatable metallic foil (Mylar®) balloons into the atmosphere.

Metallic foil balloons are colorful, festive decorations – but the metallic coating that gives them their bright color is also what can cause a power outage if it contacts a power line.

Around this time every year, there is a surge in balloon incidents with the electrical system. Over the past five years, Mylar® balloons have been identified as the cause of more than 500 power outages to our region’s electrical system.

Once used, please remember to pierce and fully deflate your balloons when the festivities are over. Metallic foil balloons conduct electricity, and if they hit our power lines, they can cause outages. In some cases, it may cause fires. 

The following is recommended to prevent metallic foil balloon-related outages: 

  • Keep your balloons indoors.
  • If your holiday festivities take you outdoors, make sure your balloons are securely fastened or attached to a weight.
  • When the fun is done, dispose of a Mylar® balloon by fully deflating it so that it doesn’t get loose and float away. Partially inflated balloons can easily become airborne.
  • If you notice a metallic foil balloon, or any object, entangled in an overhead power line, please call 9-1-1 or SDG&E at 1-800-411-7343. Do not try to remove it yourself.

To learn more about power line safety, please visit


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