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Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) has a warning for its romantic customers: Your hearts might be in the right place, but your metallic Valentine's Day balloons are creating hundreds of power outages.

The California utility issued a Feb. 14 warning urging customers to "think safety first and securely tie a weight to all metallic balloons containing helium to prevent them from floating away." Last year, metallic balloons that drifted into PG&E power lines caused nearly 290 outages, affecting electric service to more than 134,000 homes and businesses throughout Northern and Central California.

“The number of power outages caused by metallic balloons in PG&E's service area has more than doubled over the past decade,” says the utility, adding that it would be safer to keep metallic balloons indoors and not to allow their outdoor release.




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