News Release

Oct. 4, 2017
PNM Hosts Balloon Safety Demonstration

Albuquerque: In preparation for the 2017 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, PNM hosted a safety demonstration for first responders, Balloon Fiesta safety officials, and local media to discuss how to respond if a hot air balloon is caught in power lines. The demonstration covered how PNM responds in this situation, the dangers present, and provided safety tips for everyone, including the general public. We had a balloon and gondola draped over a de-energized power line as a visual to aid in the demonstration.

Safety is always top of mind at PNM, and it's important to educate everyone that touching a balloon wrapped in power lines could cause a chain reaction that can injure those attempting to provide help, as well as everybody inside the balloon's gondola. Electricity seeks the nearest path to ground, which means an energized line that poses no danger to a balloon hanging on one wire could become deadly for everyone involved if a single onlooker touches the ground and the balloon or a tether at the same time. There is no way for a casual observer to know if a power line is carrying electricity or has been de-energized by the balloon accident.

"We wanted to take extra steps to ensure that everyone is prepared, trained and ready to respond if a balloon should be caught in power lines," said Art Anaya, Metro Line Department Craft Supervisor. "As always, we hope for an incident-free event, but if an accident should occur we want everyone to be prepared to respond as quickly and as safely as possible."

The demonstration was also a public safety reminder for onlookers and balloon crews to stay away from any balloons caught in power lines and call 911 and PNM (888-DIAL-PNM), and allow emergency responders to safely remove the balloon from the power lines.

What: PNM Balloon/Power Line Safety Demo
When: Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017 at 11 am
Where: Reeves Generating Station, located at 4400 Paseo del Norte, Albuquerque, NM 87113 

With headquarters in Albuquerque, PNM is the largest electricity provider in New Mexico, serving more than 500,000 customers in dozens of communities across the state. PNM is a subsidiary of PNM Resources, an energy holding company also headquartered in Albuquerque. For more information, visit PNM.com.