Hang on to Valentine’s balloons – It helps keep the lights on

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Hold on to those Valentine’s Day gift balloons and potato chip bags.

Delmarva Power issued the heads up on the eve of the popular holiday.

The utility noted that on a windy day last spring, a potato chip bag blew into a Delmarva Power facility in Salisbury, Md., damaging electric equipment and knocking out service for nearly 2,600 customers.

Potato chip bags and gift balloons often come with foil coating. When the foil contacts power lines or electrical equipment, its metallic properties can cause a surge of electricity that disrupts power and damages equipment.

Untethered balloons cause hundreds of unnecessary service interruptions for customers each year.

Here are some tips that go beyond holding on to balloons and bags.

  • Always keep balloons tethered and attached to weights.
  • Properly dispose of foil-coated balloons by puncturing them to release helium that otherwise could cause them to float away.
  • If your grip does happen to slip, never touch a power line or attempt to retrieve a balloon that is entangled in an overhead power line. For assistance, call us at 1-800-898-8042.
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