Pacific Gas & Electric Co. urges people to keep a tight rein on their metallic balloons during Valentine's Day.
In 2019, metallic balloons striking electric lines caused 376 power outages in PG&E's service area, disrupting service to more than 179,000 homes and businesses. In the North Bay, there were 13 outages, with four of them in Napa County.
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The utility urges everyone to make sure that helium-filled metallic balloons are securely tied to a weight that is heavy enough to keep them from flying away.
These balloons should never be released outside for everyone's safety, PG&E said.
Should a balloon become entangled in a power line, no effort should be made to retrieve it, PG&E said.