Some balloons you may release and some you may not. Balloons that are electrically conductive, such as “Mylar.” Balloons may come in contact with power lines and can cause fires which may result in power outages. In addition, balloons may pop and break apart – ducks, birds and other animals ingest these parts and become ill or die. See the Public Utilities Code and Penal Code for releasing balloons – remember, I said power lines….
Public Utilities Code 21646. It shall be a misdemeanor for any person to release or fly
or cause to be released or flown, within five miles of any airport,
any moored balloon, kite, unmanned rocket, or unmanned free balloon
which might be ingested by an aircraft engine or might cause a pilot’
s view of the airport and zone approach to be obstructed, or which
could be used to suspend an object capable of endangering airborne
aircraft or impairing a pilot’s vision.
Penal Code 653.1. (a) No person shall sell or distribute any balloon that is
constructed of electrically conductive material, and filled with a
gas lighter than air without:
(1) Affixing an object of sufficient weight to the balloon or its
appurtenance to counter the lift capability of the balloon.
(2) Affixing a statement on the balloon, or ensuring that a
statement is so affixed, that warns the consumer about the risk if
the balloon comes in contact with electrical power lines.
(3) A printed identification of the manufacturer of the balloon.
(b) No person shall sell or distribute any balloon filled with a
gas lighter than air that is attached to an electrically conductive
string, tether, streamer, or other electrically conductive
(c) No person shall sell or distribute any balloon that is
constructed of electrically conductive material and filled with a gas
lighter than air and that is attached to another balloon constructed
of electrically conductive material and filled with a gas lighter
(d) No person or group shall release, outdoors, balloons made of
electrically conductive material and filled with a gas lighter than
air, as part of a public or civic event, promotional activity, or
(e) Any person who violates subdivision (a), (b), (c), or (d)
shall be guilty of an infraction punishable by a fine not exceeding
one hundred dollars ($100). Any person who violates subdivision (a),
(b), (c), or (d) who has been previously convicted twice of
violating subdivision (a), (b), (c), or (d) shall be guilty of a
(f) This section shall not apply to manned hot air balloons, or to
balloons used in governmental or scientific research projects.