Keep Valentine’s Day Balloons Close to the Heart …and Away from Power Lines

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KISSIMMEE, Fla., February 11, 2011 – With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, Kissimmee Utility Authority is reminding its customers that metallic balloons, often a part of these special celebrations, can cause power outages if not disposed of properly.

More metallic balloons are sold on Valentine’s Day than any other holiday and, not surprisingly, it’s also the same day that utilities across the country experience numerous metallic balloon-related power outages.

Metallic and nonmetallic balloons can knock out service when they float between power lines. The high-voltage electricity can arc across the balloons, burning down wires, damaging equipment and interrupting service.

KUA recommends these simple safety rules for handling metallic balloons:

— Do not attempt to retrieve a balloon, or any foreign object, tangled in power lines. Instead, call KUA at (407) 933-9898 to report the problem.
— Keep metallic balloons indoors, and never release them outside.
— Never attach metallic streamers to any balloon, latex or metallic.
— Never bundle metallic balloons together.
— Be sure to secure a helium-filled balloon with a weight heavy enough to prevent it from drifting away.

Founded in 1901, Founded in 1901, KUA (www.kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility providing electric and telecommunication services to 64,000 customers in Osceola County, Fla.

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Chris M. Gent
(407) 933-9836
cgent@kua.com