DELTA TOWNSHIP, Mich. — The power outage that hit close to 3,000 Lansing Board of Water & Light customers in Lansing and parts of Delta Township on Tuesday was caused by a helium-filled Mylar balloon that got tangled on a power line on Waverly Road south of Michigan Avenue, the utility said today.
Some Mylar balloons have a shiny coating that contains aluminum and conducts electricity. When they come into contact with power lines, metal-coated balloons can cause fires and downed lines. The balloon that hit the power line on Tuesday caused it to catch fire and break in two.
“This incident, while rare, is a good reminder that Mylar balloons can be hazardous if they get caught in a power line,” said BWL General Manager Dick Peffley said in a statement released today. “We encourage area residents to be aware of these potential hazards and to avoid releasing Mylar balloons outdoors, especially near power lines”
BWL asked residents to keep balloons indoors, secure metallic balloons with weights and never release them outdoors and drain them of helium before disposing of them.
Downed power lines can be reported to BWL by calling (877) 295-5001. The utility advises residents to stay at least 20 feet away from downed power lines.
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