PSEG Warns Rouge Foil Balloons, Kites, Drones Can Spark Outages

As spring ushers in beautiful weather, with graduations and other outdoor celebrations, outdoor spaces become crowded with drones, kites, and metallic foil or Mylar balloons. As harmless as they seem, these flying toys can quickly turn from fun to dangerous if they become entangled in power lines. Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) is urging customers to be mindful of the risks associated with these objects near electrical lines and other electrical equipment.

PSE&G reports that the number of Mylar balloons contacting their electric equipment nearly doubles in June. The metallic coating on Mylar balloons makes them effective conductors of electricity. When these balloons come into contact with power lines, they can cause short circuits. These balloons can stay inflated for over two weeks, posing a prolonged risk of causing power outages, downed wires, fires, and injuries. Additionally, wildlife can suffer from ingesting balloon fragments or getting entangled in balloon strings.

“While flying drones and kites can be fun and Mylar balloons are festive, if they come into contact with a power line or other electrical equipment, that could lead to power outages, fire and, possibly, injuries,” said Jack Bridges, PSE&G vice president of Electric Operations. “We want customers to know the risks and take steps to ensure their recreational activities and celebrations are a success.”

PSE&G emphasizes that no one should attempt to dislodge any object stuck in power lines. Using poles or sticks to remove these items can expose individuals to electrocution hazards. Instead, if a kite, balloon, or drone gets caught in a power line, customers should immediately call PSE&G at 1-800-436-PSEG (7734).

To ensure safety and reduce the risk of outages and injuries, PSE&G provides the following tips:

  • Always follow applicable laws and regulations, including Federal Aviation Administration requirements.
  • Never try to remove anything caught in power lines or electric substations.
  • Avoid flying kites in the rain or during electrical storms.
  • Do not cross roads or streets while flying kites or holding balloons.
  • Keep kites, Mylar balloons, and drones away from overhead power lines and utility equipment.
  • Secure balloons to a weight heavy enough to prevent them from floating away.
  • Dispose of Mylar balloons properly by puncturing them to release helium and prevent them from flying away.
  • Keep drones at least 200 feet from power lines and substations to allow time to maneuver away from electrical equipment.

For more information on staying safe, visit