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Popular graduation balloons festive but dangerous if released, energy companies warn

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WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 6: Helium balloons congratulating recent graduates are tied to a railing outside Constitution Hall is viewed on June 6, 2017 in Washington, D.C.

The nation's capital, the sixth largest metropolitan area in the country, draws mil As families start to gather in the coming weeks for high school and college graduation celebrations, power companies are warning about the dangers of releasing balloons into the air.

Shiny, metallic balloons, also known as Mylar balloons, have a silvery coating that conducts electricity. If the balloons make contact with power lines, they can short transformers, melt electric wires and cause power outages, all of which pose public safety risks, according to Evergy, an electric company that serves more than 1.6 million customers in Kansas and Missouri.NATIONWIDE HELIUM SHORTAGE COULD DEFLATE ACCURACY IN WEATHER FORECASTINGThe video above shows what happens when a Mylar balloon comes in contact with a power line.

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