We Energies: Love is in the air, but balloons shouldn’t be

Milwaukee – Balloons make for a great Valentine’s Day gift, but if you’re not careful, they can leave you and thousands of others in the dark.

Over 23,000 We Energies customers lost power in 2021 due to balloons contacting our power lines and other equipment. Love may not be a science, but delivering energy is —Mylar balloons that come into contact with power lines act as a conductor, creating a short circuit.

Not only can balloons knock out power, the short circuit from the balloon can cause power lines to fall to the ground, creating a dangerous situation. 

Skip the balloons and spend time together checking off these recommendations:

•    Cook a simple meal together. Microwaves and slow cookers use less energy than an oven. If you need to heat things up in the oven, stay efficient by using the oven light and not opening the door to check on your romantic dinner. 

•    Snuggle safely together. When you’re done using your electric blanket, turn it off to reduce the risk of fire. 

•    Spark an efficient fire together. Open-hearth fireplaces draw hot air from your home and send it right up the chimney. Cracking open a nearby window reduces the air drawn into the fireplace and improves efficiency by up to 20%.

•    Assemble an emergency kit together. Nothing says romance more than being prepared for power outages. Throw in a blanket, flashlight and some battery-powered chargers for your cellphones.

•    Install a carbon monoxide (CO) detector together. The risk of CO poisoning is greater during the winter months. Stay safe and install a CO detector. 

•    Focus on Energy together. Gift-giving could be made easy with our partners at Focus on Energy. Check out instant discounts on energy-efficient products like LED bulbs, smart thermostats and power strips. You may even qualify for a free energy-saving kit.