Knock on wood...I've been very lucky when it comes to losing power in my South Jersey home. Even during Hurricane Sandy, we never lost electricity.

Some of my friends and co-workers that live in New Jersey have not had the same type of luck. They seem to lose power much more often than  I do, so I was intrigued when I saw a post on nj1015.com that said that Mylar balloons were to blame for an increased number of power outages over the past few years in New Jersey.

In fact, a report on news12.com says that power outages have increased by 26% in NJ over the last 5 years.

PSE&G Director of Emergency Preparedness Paul Toscarelli told nj1015.com that when people release Mylar balloons outdoors, some of those balloons hit power lines. Then, the metallic coating on the Mylar balloons conducts electricity and causes a short circuit.

A video published on YouTube in 2017 shows an example of this happening:

In addition to the potential power outages caused by releasing Mylar balloons into the air, helium balloons of all types can present other types of dangers.

According to balloonsblow.org, when helium-filled balloons released outdoors return to the ground, they can be ingested by animals and cause severe medical issues, including death.

And while Mylar is a synthetic material and not biodegradable, balloonsblow.org says that latex balloons are sometimes labeled as biodegradable but are the type that is found "in the stomachs of dead animals."

All of this makes you question whether or not we should use balloons at all.