On Wednesday, September 2nd at 1:45PM, power outages in the Burns area were reported affecting approximately 2,600 members.

The cause of the outages is believed to be a large, Mylar balloon which had drifted into an OTEC substation. Crews restored power at approximately 2:45PM.

OTEC wants to remind everyone that if you celebrate with metallic balloons, always remember to keep them tethered and dispose of them properly. Proper handling and disposal keeps them from drifting into power lines and causing a power outage.

When a metallic balloon touches a power line or floats into substation equipment, it can cause a surge of electricity that short circuits equipment and can lead to power outages, fires, and possible injuries.

To reduce these outages and help keep the lights on, OTEC recommends to keep the following tips in mind:

  • Always keep balloons tethered and attached to a weight.
  • When no longer in use, puncture and deflate the balloons before creatively reusing or disposing of them.
  • If a balloon or another toy becomes entangled in an overhead power line, do not attempt to retrieve it. Call OTEC immediately.

Always assume power lines are live and keep yourself and all other items at least 10 feet away from power lines.