El Paso Electric is asking El Pasoans to be careful when handling mylar balloons.
Within the past week, the utility has seen four outages in the El Paso, affecting more than 1,000 local customers.
El Paso Electric attributes these outages to Mylar balloons, which are made of metallic material that can cause a short circuit, potentially resulting in power outages and harm to equipment.
EPE crews say they prepare for outages during the high demand summer season by conducting a February Maintenance Blitz. This preparation includes completing upgrades on the system, replacing poles, transformers, and other older equipment. This year alone, crews replaced over 500 pieces of equipment throughout EPE's service territory.
To reduce outage risks caused by Mylar balloons, El Paso Electric has released these suggestions:
- Keep metallic and all other types of balloons indoors and away from overhead power lines. Even non-metallic balloons can become entangled in lines and cause an outage.
- Always attach a weight to metallic balloons. Keep them tethered at all times.
- Never use balloons, kites, drones and other toys near overhead power lines.
- Always deflate metallic balloons and dispose of them when no longer in use.
- Never release large/oversized latex balloons or large bunches of latex balloons. They can strike power lines when released or when they fall back to the ground.
- Always assume power lines are live. Always keep yourself, your equipment and all other items, including toys, at least 10 feet away from power lines.
EPE's advices the community to be safe as the hot summer season begins and help reduce possible outages.