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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Here's How Heart-Shaped Balloons Could Actually Ruin Your Valentine's Day

Posted By on Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 1:55 PM

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Valentine's Day might be good for the American economy, but that Hallmark holiday isn't always so great for the environment.

Every Valentine's Day, those tacky balloons that suckers buy as their last-minute cover-your-ass gift wind up in the power lines, and there's nothing erotic about that.

So this year, PG&E is warning telling you romeos to hold onto your balloons.

See Also: Environment Company Fined for Releasing 10,000 Red Balloons in San Francisco

Last year, metallic balloons were to blame for 290 power outages, affecting service to more than 134,000 homes and businesses throughout Northern and Central California. The number of power outages caused by metallic balloons in PG&E's service area has more than doubled over the past decade, according to PG&E.

So here's some Valentine's Day advice from the electricity experts themselves:

  • Use caution and avoid celebrating with metallic balloons near overhead electric lines.

  • Make sure helium-filled metallic balloons are securely tied to a weight that is heavy enough to prevent them from floating away.

  • When possible, keep metallic balloons indoors, especially if accessible to small children.

  • Never permit metallic balloons to be released outside, for everyone's safety.

  • Do not bundle metallic balloons together.

  • Never attempt to retrieve any type of balloon that becomes caught in a power line. Leave it alone, and immediately call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.

  • Never go near a power line that has fallen to the ground or is dangling in the air. Stay far away, keep others away and immediately call 911.

And if some uninformed skirt-chaser causes your power to go out, well, there is a silver lining: A candlelight dinner is more romantic.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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