KISSIMMEE, Fla., December 15, 2017 – A pair of Mylar balloons released Friday morning in Kissimmee were responsible for a power outage affecting more than 2,500 homes and businesses, the Kissimmee Utility Authority reported today.
At 11:27 a.m., the balloons became entangled in overhead power lines near the intersection of Carroll Street and Thacker Avenue, knocking out power to customers on both sides of Highway 192. All service was restored at 12:21 p.m, but power crews had to work several hours to replace brackets and insulators damaged in the incident.
Helium-filled balloons made of Mylar — a metalized nylon substance — can float into power lines, causing power outages, downed lines and damaged equipment.
Whether you’re celebrating a holiday, birthday, baby shower or other special occasion, KUA recommends these simple safety rules for handling metallic balloons:
— Be sure to secure a helium-filled balloon with a weight heavy enough to prevent it from drifting away.
— Never bundle metallic balloons together.
— Keep metallic balloons indoors and never release them outside.
— Never attach metallic streamers to any balloon, whether it’s latex or metallic.
— 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.
Founded in 1901, KUA (www.kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility powering 74,000 customers in Osceola County, Fla.