Residents in the North Larchmont area posted reports of a power outage on social media Thursday morning. It turns out, the outage was caused by Mylar balloons that got tangled in the wires causing a fire on the lines that took out six transformers. The area of the outage was south of Gregory Avenue, north of Third Street, west of Wilton Place and east of Rossmore Avenue and affected about 540 customers according to Sylvia Beltran, LADWP Public Relations Specialist.
“Mylar balloons are made of metal and they cause a fire when they contact the wires,” explained Beltran. “For the protection of your neighborhood, please don’t release Mylar balloons into the air. It’s best to take the air out and then throw them away.”
Each year, Mylar balloons cause approximately 200 power outages–about one Mylar-related outage every other day in the City of Los Angeles, according to the LADWP.
Power was reported restored by late afternoon.
LADWP also reminds residents to conserve power on very hot days like today and tomorrow.
“The highest use is when people come home from work,” said Beltran. “There is much more demand in the evening. Whatever you are doing when you get home from work, everyone else is doing too!
You can do your part by setting your air conditioning to 78 degrees or higher, closing your shades will help keep you house cool, and avoid using major appliances during peak hours in the late afternoon and evening. LADWP is replacing infrastructure in older neighborhoods like ours but Beltran said there is enough capacity as long as there aren’t any mishaps with Mylar balloons!