The Silicon Valley Voice

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Threat to Power Service from Mylar Balloons Cited in Silicon Valley Power Warning

Some power outages that can cause serious problems for hospitals, manufacturing companies and residents can be avoided if people celebrating events like graduations simply hold onto their Mylar balloons, says Silicon Valley Power (SVP). The City of Santa Clara’s municipal electric utility says a number of electricity interruptions are caused each year when the metallic balloons strike power lines, particularly around spring and summer holidays.

“I would not want to be the person in the middle of a root canal or a restaurant owner serving a room full of diners when the power goes out for no good reason,” says Larry Owens, SVP manager of Customer Services. “It takes just one careless release of a Mylar balloon to have a serious impact on local residents, businesses and health care facilities.”

Power outages of even a short period of time can trigger emergency measures at hospitals and cost local employers thousands of dollars, not to mention endangering the public when traffic signals stop functioning.

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“A power event on a manufacturing assembly line or during product testing can literally add up to a loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars,” says Owens.

“We seem to have more power incidents related to balloons around graduation time, so we want to remind everyone to keep balloons in control.” Owens adds that releasing Mylar balloons is against the law and violators can be cited and fined.

Silicon Valley Power (siliconvalleypower.com) is the trademark adopted for use by the non-profit electric municipal utility of Santa Clara, CA serving residents and businesses for over 100 years. SVP provides power to more than 50,000 customers, including Applied Materials, Intel, Owens Corning and Yahoo!, at rates 15 to 45 percent below neighboring communities.

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