ALBUQUERQUE, NM – We are less than two weeks away from Balloon Fiesta and the organizers are making sure everything is in place. PNM prepares by reminding the public that hot air balloons and power lines do not mix.
PNM demonstrated the power of power lines in hopes of keeping people safe even when they want to step in to help when balloons are in trouble.
“Our first response is to help in a situation, but if you were to create a path to earth, where the human body is very conductive, you would end up grounding the power line through the ball, the pod and your body and – not a good idea,” said PNM supervisor Andrew Cusimano.
Last year, a devilish balloon lit up power lines in the North Valley.
PNM says it’s human nature to want to run and help in situations like this, but the best way to help is to keep your distance and pick up your phone.
“The most important message for spectators is that if you see a ball entangled in power lines, do not approach it. Call 911 first,” Cusimano said.
According to PNM, even if a power line does not spark or arc, always assume that it is live. They say people should call 911 or 888-DIAL-PNM.
PNM reminded people of another danger: distracted driving. Every year drivers are distracted by all those balloons, often injuring themselves and causing power outages after hitting utility poles.