SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- With Valentine's Day festivities taking place this week, many customers will celebrate with helium-filled metallic balloons. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) urges customers to think safety first and securely tie a weight to all metallic balloons containing helium to prevent them from floating away. Metallic balloons that contact overhead power lines can disrupt electric service to an entire neighborhood, cause significant property damage and potentially result in serious personal injuries.
Last year, metallic balloons that drifted into PG&E power lines caused nearly 290 outages, affecting electric service to more than 134,000 homes and businesses throughout Northern and Central California. Sometimes these outages interrupt electric service to important facilities such as hospitals, schools and traffic lights. A video and photos detailing the damage that can result from metallic balloons coming into contact with power lines can be found on PG&E's Currents website.
The number of power outages caused by metallic balloons in PG&E's service area has more than doubled over the past decade. In order to significantly reduce this number and to help ensure that everyone can safely enjoy their Valentine's Day, PG&E reminds customers to follow these important safety tips for metallic balloons:
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit http://www.pge.com/about/newsroom/ and www.pgecurrents.com.
For high-resolution B-roll and related video content, please click on the following link: http://www.yousendit.com/download/UW14SmI5bThENlJ4Tk1UQw
SOURCE Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)