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Belco: stray balloons can knock out power

Helium-filled balloons can cause power outages if they come into contact with overhead wires (Photograph from peakpx.com)

Helium balloons present a hazard to overhead cables and have plunged hundreds of homes into the dark in the past month, Belco has warned.

The company urged the public to be cautious with helium-filled balloons, also noting the environmental risk posed.

A company spokesman said two power outages have been caused recently by balloons drifting into contact with Belco overhead wires.

He added: “The most recent incident involving a balloon was on July 1 in Pembroke, which caused more than 600 residents to be without power while broken conductors had to be repaired.

“When these incidents happen, several hundred customers can be affected while Belco crews carry out repairs.”

Shelly Leman, Belco’s managing director of transmission distribution and retail, said these preventable outages inconvenienced customers and “can also pose a significant safety risk to members of the public if conductors are downed as a result”.

She explained: “Balloons that are released can also have a negative impact on the marine environment as well as potentially harming birds.

“I urge members of the public to take precautions when using helium-filled balloons and to ensure they are not released into the environment and are disposed of responsibly.”

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Published July 08, 2024 at 1:56 pm (Updated July 08, 2024 at 9:30 pm)

Belco: stray balloons can knock out power

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