Info Bulletin

BC Hydro is reminding customers to keep a tight hand on balloons to prevent power outages

VANCOUVER — BC Hydro is reminding the public that balloons and power lines don’t mix after balloons came into contact with power lines last night, plunging parts of downtown Victoria into darkness.

Untethered helium balloons cause dozens of unnecessary power outages. Last year alone, rogue balloons were responsible for 30 outages affecting tens of thousands of BC Hydro customers across the province.

During yesterday’s incident, BC Hydro crews were able to safely untangle the culprits and restore power within two hours to the 5,000 customers affected by the outage.

In addition to power outages, helium balloons can cause serious injuries or major damage to electrical infrastructure if they come into contact with power lines, transformers and substations.

BC Hydro encourages customers to help reduce balloon-related power outages and ensure safety by:

  • Looking up and being aware – watch for power lines and never carry balloons under power lines.
  • Weighting each balloon – secure each balloon with an individual weight to keep it from floating away.
  • Not attaching latex or metallic streamers – they are excellent conductors of electricity.
  • Disposing of them properly – dispose of balloons by puncturing the balloon to release helium that otherwise could cause the balloon to float away.

BC Hydro also wants to remind the public not to retrieve any object caught in a power line. Instead, call BC Hydro at 1-800-BCHYDRO (1-800-224-9376).

Contact:
BC Hydro Media Relations
p. 604 928 6468