Mylar Balloons spark power outage in Mesquite

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Balloons that caused an hour-long power outage on Sunday can be seen dangling at this substation on the corner of First South and Arrowhead Lane Sunday. Photo by OPD.

Overton Power reported 1,657 District No. 5 customers lost power in Mesquite at 12:44 p.m. on June 11, when two mylar balloons came in contact with high voltage equipment, causing a fault that blew two transformer fuses at the Mesquite Substation located in the corner of First South and Arrowhead Lane. Power was successfully restored to all customers affected at 1:45 p.m.

Overton Power District No. 5 would like to remind customers to keep mylar balloons tethered at all times and dispose of them properly when no longer in use.

“The metallic coating or mylar on the balloons is an excellent electrical conductor, so when in contact with a power line or substation equipment, they can cause severe damage resulting in a possible power outage, electrical fires and possible injuries” said OPD Manager of T & D Operations Bruce Hughes. “Summer is a really bad time to be without electricity, especially in our region where temperatures reach triple digits, and these types of outages are easily avoidable.

To reduce these outages Overton Power District No. 5 offers the following tips:

  • Always attach a weight to metallic and non-metallic balloons. Keep them tethered at all times.
  • Keep metallic and all other types of balloons indoors and away from overhead power lines.
  • Don’t celebrate by releasing balloons after graduations, weddings or momentous events.
  • Never use balloons, kites, drones or other toys near overhead power lines.
  • When no longer in use, dispose of metallic and other types of balloons properly, puncture them to ensure lingering helium doesn’t cause them to float and blow around if the garbage can is overturned.
  • Always assume power lines are live and keep yourself, your equipment and all other items, including toys, at least 10 feet away from power lines.
  • If a balloon, kite or other toy becomes entangled in an overhead power line, don’t attempt to retrieve it. Instead call your local Overton Power District No. 5 office: Mesquite (702) 346-5710 or Overton (702) 397-2512.

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