ComEd asks families to be safe with balloons during graduation celebrations

Thousands of power outages are reported each year in northern Illinois due to foil balloons, with the biggest spikes seen during graduation season.

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An electrician works to remove a foil balloon from a power line.

An electrician works to remove a foil balloon from a power line.

ComEd

With graduation season among us and traditional parties being swapped for stay-at-home celebrations, ComEd is asking families to be mindful about how they use balloons.

The foil, or Mylar, balloons that are great for showy celebrations are also liable to start fires or power outages if they come into contact with power lines or electrical equipment, ComEd said. Thousands of power outages are reported each year in northern Illinois due to these balloons, with the biggest spikes seen during graduation season.

“ComEd extends a heartfelt congratulations to the class of 2020 who have persevered to achieve their educational goals at all levels,” said Rich Negrin, vice president of external affairs at ComEd. “During this challenging time, we know that families are eager to celebrate their graduates. ComEd supports those celebrations and encourages customers to be safe while transporting and displaying celebratory balloons.”

If celebrating with foil balloons, ComEd encourages residents to keep them inside or attach them to weights if they’re being hung outdoors.

Under no circumstances should one try to remove a balloon from a power line or other piece of electrical equipment if it gets tangled up, ComEd said. If assistance is needed, residents are encouraged to call 1-800-334-7661.

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