NewsCovering Kern County


Note of caution this Valentine’s Day for people buying metallic balloons

A mylar balloon has a metallic coating.
Posted: 5:36 PM, Feb 11, 2022
Updated: 2022-02-11 20:54:28-05
Valentine's Day

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — A public message as we approach Valentine's Day.

PG&E warn people that balloons that drift into the company’s power lines caused more than 57 outages and impacted more than 270,000 customers.

In Bakersfield last year, the city had the highest number of balloon-caused power outages in the California service area.

As the holiday nears, the electric company is asking you to generate sparks with your love, not balloons this year.

A mylar balloon has a metallic coating. You can find them in most stores with words such as ‘Happy Birthday’, ‘Get Well Soon’, or in this case ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’ written on it.

If these balloons are let go and they make contact with power lines, it could cause widespread damage.

“Valentine’s and Mother’s Day are our two busiest times of the year,” said Hunaid Baliwala, Owner of Log Cabin Florist.

Between flowers, teddy bears, and balloons, Baliwala said his shop is selling everything you need for Valentine’s Day.

“This year people are getting used to again going out and doing things with their loved ones.”

Spokesperson for PG&E, Katie Allen, warns, “Usually a balloon accompanies those gifts.”

While balloons may be small, they can have a dangerous impact on the community.

“When they come in contact with our power lines, they conduct electricity which leads to outages and potential fires. Hospitals [and] schools are impacted by these outages.”

Allen said if you buy balloons, make sure it is weighed down.

“It is a California state law to have a weight attached to it when it is sold. So, make sure when you leave you don’t remove it, then never bundle the balloons together.”

Baliwala said his shop also makes sure all balloons are protected. “We tie all of our balloons to a vase, or we tie it with a weight so they don’t kind of fly off.”

“If you are celebrating outside, make sure you stay away from any electric facilities or power lines,” said Allen.

Baliwala also said if you want to celebrate safely, you can ditch the balloons this year.

“We have plenty of roses and they are already made, so people can come in and pick them up if they’d like. They are in our cooler, we have them made in the back, they are ready for delivery or for pickup.”

If you are using metallic balloons this Valentine’s Day, don’t celebrate outside, stay away from electric facilities, and when you’re finished using it, deflate the balloon before throwing it away in the trash.

23ABC In-Depth

Also, don't forget about pets this Valentine’s Day.

Just like Thanksgiving, or most holidays, there's some potential danger for our four-legged friends.

We took in-depth look at a recent report from the ASPCA and have some tips for those of you that own a pet.

  • Be mindful of flower bouquets.
  • When sending a floral arrangement to someone with a cat, specify that it contain no lilies, and when receiving an arrangement, sift through and remove all dangerous flowers. 
  • If your pet is suffering from symptoms such as lethargy, vomiting or diarrhea, he may have ingested a dangerous flower or plant.
  • As usual - absolutely no chocolate. The candy can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, seizures, and an abnormally elevated heart rate. Go ahead and indulge, but don’t leave chocolate out for animals to find.
  • Be careful with candles.
  • It’s nice to set your evening a-glow with candlelight but put out the fire when you leave the room. 
  • Pawing kittens and nosy pooches can burn themselves or cause a fire by knocking over unattended candles.