Rules To Live By In The Decorating Business

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Some of the following comments include amounts of money in the imaginary unit called “C-shells.” These units are used to avoid any hint of illegal price fixing in the balloon industry.

California Law

The California Law

The California law for balloons is listed in the California Penal Code Chapter 1559 Section 653.1. The text of the California balloon law can be found below or at

Balloons; electrically conductive material or appurtenance; sale, distribution or release outdoors; reports

  1. No person shall sell or distribute any balloon which is constructed of electrically conductive material, and filled with a gas lighter than air without:
    • Affixing an object of sufficient weight to the balloon or its appurtenance ex: ribbon, string, etc. to counter the lift capability of the balloon.
      It was later stated that the weight must not be consumable, i.e., no tying foils to bags of candy.
    • Affixing a statement on the balloon, or ensuring that a statement is so affixed, that warns the consumer about the risk if the balloon come in contact with electrical power lines.
      This is already printed on most balloons, but you need to make sure. Add your own warning if it’s not printed.
    • A printed identification of the manufacturer of the balloon.
  2. No person shall sell or distribute any balloon filled with a gas lighter than air, which is attached to an electrically conductive string, tether, streamer, or other electrically conductive appurtenance.
    No metallized ribbon on helium filled latex or foils, even if weighted. No helium filled arches built around steel cable, or with metallized ribbons.
  3. No person shall sell or distribute any balloon which is constructed of electrically conductive material and filled with a gas lighter than air, which, is attached to another balloon constructed of electrically conductive material, and filled with a gas lighter than air.
    No tying helium filled foils together – each must be individually tied to the weight. No helium filled foil arches (but air-filled foil arches – even on conductive aluminum rod or EMT frames – are OK).
  4. 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 product advertisement.
    No foil balloon releases.
  5. 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 misdemeanor.
    Go directly to jail. Do not pass “Go.” Do not collect $200.
  6. This section shall not apply to manned hot air balloons, or to balloons used in governmental or scientific research projects.
  7. Electrical corporations shall report to the Public Utilities Commission every other month, from January 1, 1991, until June 30, 1993 on electrical service disruptions caused by balloons constructed of electrically conductive material, including but not limited to, the location of the service disruption, the composition of the balloon, and the extent of the disruption. The commission shall provide a copy of each electrical corporation’s bimonthly report to a representative designated by the metallic balloon manufacturers and shall report the following by December 31, 1993, to the legislature:
    • The number of outages reported by each electrical corporation on a monthly basis.
    • A comparison of the monthly outages reported pursuant to Chapter 1122 of the Statutes of 1988, with the monthly outages reported by each electrical corporation pursuant to this act, reflecting the numerical trend of the outages.

    Big brother is watching you.

    (Added by stats.1990. c. 1559 (S.B.1990) sec. 1.)

Comments on the California Law

  • The “CA Law” never mentions Mylar per se. It deals only with conductive materials. Plain, unadulterated Mylar is _not_ an electrical conductor… in fact, quite the opposite: It is such a terrific insulator that it is used as a dielectric in high quality capacitors. So, attach all the plain Mylar you want to: just never attach “metallized” or “aluminized” Mylar to helium-filled balloons (since the metal layer in metallized Mylar _is_ conductive.) Now, metallized Mylar, or “foil” balloons _are_ conductive
  • Basically, there are three things to check for:
    1. If all of the ribbons on a bouquet are cut right at the weight, will the foil balloon still be tied into the bouquet of balloons? If so, it’s illegal. The foil balloon should be anchored separately from the latex, so the whole cluster can’t get caught in a power line. Thus in California it is illegal to make a helium arch of any kind utilizing foil balloons, or conductive strings.
    2. If its ribbon is cut, can a latex balloon carry a metallic object to a power line? This is why you can’t tie an air filled foil balloon to a helium filled latex.
    3. Is the ribbon metallic? If so, it’s illegal. (There are a number of metallic-looking ribbons that are actually safe.)
  • There are two concerns behind this law. The biggest concern is that if someone (accidentally or on purpose) lets a helium balloon go into the air, the ribbon or other electrically conductive items attached could get caught on a power line and cause a major power outage. That actually happened right here in San Jose in 1991 on New Year’s Eve when one of the parties had 1,000 balloons with metallized ribbon hanging down (very beautiful) and a lot of the party- goers decided it would be fun to release them after the party. Some of the balloons got caught on power lines and caused a 7-hour power outage to over 6,000 homes! The next year they passed the law here in California.In fact, they tried to outlaw foil balloons altogether but our balloon coalition managed to convince them to just make it mandatory that a weight of some type must be attached to any foil balloon. Because of this, although no other state currently has passed such legislation, we who make a living in this industry try very, very hard to make sure that everyone knows about the law and the consequences that might happen to our industry if legislation stops us from using foil balloons altogether.

    That is the main reason why I am so adamant about it. I have no trouble with using balloons because of environmental reasons because latex (rubber) balloons are biodegradable. In fact, a latex balloon will break down in the environment as quickly as an oak leaf. Mylar ribbon, however, is not biodegradable, and so that, too, is an additional reason why NOT to use it.

  • Although this is not a law in the other 49 states, Pioneer asks that all event decorators in all states follow the California laws as guideline, so foil balloons will not be banned in any state!
  • While there is no enforcement money earmarked for the law, I agree we do not need negative press. When trying to educate someone regarding the law it is very useful to be able to cite the law. I carry the Chapter and Section numbers with me. If you do decide that you want a policeman to help you to enforce the law (say for example at the CA State Fair where there is a different vendor from out of state every year who never weights their balloons) you have to give them chapter and section and then they are more than happy to help.
  • We take many precautions in our shop to insure that no helium- filled foil balloon leaves without being properly weighted. Even so, we experienced a “mysterious” power outage the other night caused by a burned-out transformer which eventually was blamed on a foil balloon in the power lines. What steps do YOU take to educate your retail customers as to the concerns of releasing foil balloons? We include a card with each bouquet or arrangement that leaves the shop, and explain the concern to the walk-ins as we weight each foil. The brides and corporate accounts get the verbal as well as the written warnings. Is there something more we should be doing? We feel that this particular balloon either got away from someone accidentally or was intentionally released by the customer.
  • Yes, the old metallized Mylar ribbon conducts electricity and it is also difficult to work with because it is so slippery. Metallized Mylar ribbon is illegal to put on helium balloons in California because they have had numerous incidents with metallized ribbons and balloons getting caught up in power lines and causing outages. But there is a new ribbon on the market manufactured by Berwick, it is called Glitter. It looks and shines just like metallized Mylar but it’s not conductive plus it’s much easier to work with. Find out who sells the Berwick ribbons and tell them to get it for you (if they don’t carry it already). Even though it’s still legal to use metallized Mylar ribbon here in Mass, all the decorators use Glitter now because it is so much easier to work with and it also curls much better than the old metallized Mylar.Can you make foil balloon arches with metallized ribbon if you tie the ribbon to the line? No. The problem with attaching the ribbon on the line and not the balloon is that besides being technically illegal (they are still “attached,” – all you have done is tied an intermediate material between them), the people at the party will usually (no matter how you warn them about not doing this) go outside after the party and release the entire arch outside! I’ve heard many function managers mention this and have even seen it once. Not good if it gets caught on a power line or even if it ends up in the ocean as an entire string of monofilament with balloons tied on. Better to use the non-conductive Glitter Ribbon and be safe. Do try to convince the client not to do this anyway because of the environmental hazards.
  • I also live in California and see other companies like chain stores and even CBA’s breaking this law. Examples seen are 3′ with foil collars and strip of foil running down to the weight, or gold/silver foil ribbon attached to helium balloons. Or bouquets of foils knotted and then tied to weights. Even some foil releases!!! Unfortunately, there isn’t any authority around when the crime is being committed. It is wrong and very irritating when you follow the rules and your customer has seen it at another persons event or even at the same bridal faire. What can you do? Well, I start by educating my client right away. I tell them it is against the law and I have a code of ethics that I will run my company by. This tends to make them start thinking that I am a professional and am confident in my work and will not break the rules for any reason. I wish the companies that are breaking the law would realize what jeopardy they put us all in every time they attach that foil. But, I guess, until we are given the authority to be balloon police we can only educate the clients.
  • There was a power outage the day after Mother’s Day caused by a “Cluster of foil balloons” getting tangled in a transformer. The 45 minute outage trapped people in elevators, knocked out traffic signals and did all kinds of damage. The local utility took the opportunity to tell the media about the horrors of foil balloons. And this was in California, where “clusters” of foil balloons are supposed to be illegal. For those of you who live in other states, the California Law is just a nuisance that you are legally free to ignore. But, if you are not careful, and if you are not watching what your state and local governments are doing, it may become the California AND Idaho AND New York AND Montana Law. In the end, we Californians are damn lucky. The original bill was much more restrictive. Imagine what would happen to your business if you could no longer sell helium filled foil balloons AT ALL. After months of lobbying by the Balloon Council, Pioneer and California balloon shops and distributors, a compromise was reached which became the current law. We can live with our restrictions. You may not be so lucky when YOUR state puts it to a vote.
  • Please don’t sell a helium filled foil balloon without a weight! To do so is simply inviting trouble from authorities and environment groups. Whether you like it or not, every time you sell a helium foil balloon, without a weight, you are saying to the public, “I don’t care what harm this balloon can do… I just sell ’em!”Apart from California Law, foils are banned from the public transport system in Hong Kong. Why? Because someone sold a foil without a weight to a child who let it go in the subway – so a city of 18 million people came to a grinding halt. ALL balloon retailers suffered the consequences! Come on everyone, we are living in a time when environmental issues can topple governments and entire industries. I don’t want to see our industry threatened by the careless actions of a few retailers and decorators. The fact is that it is not the environmentalists who are a threat to our industry… it’s the “couldn’t care less” balloonists!

    Metallized Mylar balloons are not only a potential danger if they come into contact with electrical wires… they are NOT biodegradable. So, an escaped foil becomes an environmental danger to our wilderness. Worse… it’s simply ugly litter! (wilderness or suburbia) We can’t argue against that. So, why not show every single customer we serve that balloonists are also environment aware and NEVER sell a helium filled foil without a weight. That’s true professional ethics… taking responsibility for our actions. California Law or not! If the customer wants the balloon without a weight, say “sorry, sold with weights only!” Just like the safety / environment features that are now mandatory on our cars (catalytic converters, unleaded fuel). It’s for our own good, and the good of our children’s children.

    Some time ago, we decided to make weights mandatory. Our competitors didn’t attach weights and their foils became a dollar cheaper than our foils. Guess what? Our sales have not dropped at all. Our competitors now offer weights as an “add on” sale as well! Our foil sales continue to grow. Our plea to the industry today is please, put a weight on it, before they “get heavy” on all of us.

  • I live in California, home of the highest per capita car dealership ratio in the country. And, they all use balloons. There are several major balloon companies here that do NOTHING but car lots on weekends, and spend their weekdays counting the cash. There are even more little mom and pop operations that just do this as a second income. These companies are not QBN members. I doubt that they’ve even heard of the California Law. And, how do they strike their balloons each day before the new ones are installed? Why, they just cut them loose and let them fly away.As an industry, we HAVE to address this problem somehow. I don’t know what the right way to do it is. Calling the balloon police is not the answer. And, from personal experience, talking with the companies themselves does little good. If you talk to the car dealerships, they say that the disposal of the balloons is the problem of the vendor. If you talk to the vendors, they either deny what they are doing, or say “show me the law against it” And, truly, aside from a littering standpoint, I can’t find such a law. The California Law only covers electrically conductive balloons – not strands of latex balloons.

    Sometimes, even the BIG companies seem to have little regard for what they are doing. I did a 3 day 4th of July event in 1994, and Sears had an “Open a Sears Card” booth there. Each morning, the Sears people put up their cheesy little kinda spiral packed arch. And, every afternoon when the fair closed, they cut it loose and let it fly. The first time they did it, I went to the person in charge, and told him what a VERY bad idea that was, especially considering that the fair was in the direct landing approach of John Wayne Airport, AND the balloons had SEARS printed all over them. His answer was “So? – who’s going to stop me” The second day, same thing. Again, I mentioned it to the person in charge that day. Same type of response. By the third day, I had had it. As the fair was beginning to wind down, I grabbed the security guard on duty. We went to the Sears booth, took the arch down ourselves, and popped the balloons in front of them. And, they proceeded to tell me off in several colorful languages.

    So, gang – I don’t know what we can do. I’ve BEEN to car lots at 4:00 in the morning to talk to the people who are doing this, and I feel like I’m taking my life in my hands by doing it. The dealerships themselves don’t think it’s their problem, and I don’t want to make them think that balloons are more trouble than they are worth. If this great collection of minds has an idea, I think this is a great time to start trying to do something.

    This is not an American problem! It is a GLOBAL threat to our industry. I believe we are not going to achieve enough by constantly trying to put out fires by use of our local chapters, state affiliates, or even national associations. For every fire you extinguish in Partytown… 100 more are ignited in the class rooms and on our living room televisions. Our major “competitor” here is a well oiled, professional, cashed up, international media magnet called “Greenpeace.”

    I have sat with the chairman of the American based “Balloon Council” and discussed such issues at length with him. He too agrees that this (ultimately) needs to be addressed at an INTERNATIONAL level. I understand there is but one major hurdles to overcome before the “Balloon Council” can become an international industry body… the difficulty is getting balloon manufacturers outside the USA to see the value in investing in the cause. Can you believe that? How short sighted can they be? Well, balloon decorators are renowned for helping to educate their peers! Right?

    How about each and every one of you on this list approach the manufacturer of the balloons you sell, and convince them of the need to help fund an international body that can AND WILL overcome this ill-informed challenger to our livelihood. The “Balloon Council” has an admirable track record. They have contacts at the highest political level. They know how to fight this threat. They have high profile publicity experts. Are you out there Dan Flynn? (Pioneer) Get together with your colleagues at Anagram, National Latex, CTI, Tillitson, Belbal, etc., and start an international fund drive to the world community of balloon manufacturers. Sure it might mean balloon prices go up a fraction to levy the fund. But that’s better than no balloon industry at all!

    Let’s take on this foe on a level playing field, GLOBALLY!

  • We are training our customers in the use of LINK-O-LOONS to avoid some of the issues raised. These neat balloons actually form a giant rubber band – a real “string of pearls” – without any nylon or ribbons, so the whole display looks great and is 100% bio-degradable! They can be used as a simple arch or flown as a windsock (with one end firmly anchored!). Strike-down at the end of the day is very simple – even fun – as the LINK-O-LOONS don’t tangle. We recommend strike-down be done IN the showroom or work shed. Car sales reps have even been known to fight over who takes these “wiggly worms” home to the kids!
  • If we DO have some potentially damaging PR issues, our Balloon Association – BASA (Balloon Artists and Suppliers Association) – has a member’s hotline. The local chapter is immediately given a kit on how to handle the particular issue, deal with media interviews, etc. We make them aware that “The Truth is Out There.”
  • We also jump on any TV producer who allows someone to use the “Donald Duck” gag line using helium, pointing out the dangers of helium inhalation – and their potential liability!

Horror Stories

  • Here on Maui about 2 months ago, our BOC outlet sold some helium to a furniture store across the street from them, whereupon that furniture store inflated foil balloons and released some right into the overhead power lines. Power was out to a large section of Kahului including the BOC outlet. The press jumped all over it and as it turned out, the manager of the furniture store accused the car dealer next door (they use only latex and never release) and before you know it, the public is confused and just ticked off in general about balloons.
  • From:
    Date: Sat, 10 May 1997
    Subject: Latex vs. environment- NEW LAWNew legislation in Massachusetts has been introduced that bans the sale of non biodegradable balloons. The Balloon Council is extremely concerned about this legislation which could have a severe negative impact on the balloon industry. TBC wants to stop this legislation in Massachusetts and ensure that it does not spread to other states!

    House Bill 952 Bans the sale or manufacture of balloons that do not biodegrade within sixty days of disposal. The bill was introduced by Rep Kaufman of Lexington at the request of a group of fifth grade students. In addition the legislation which limits the number of balloons that can be used in a balloon release (HB 2920) was also introduced by Rep. Kujawski of Webster.

    Both bills were referred to the Natural Resources and Agriculture Committee which held a hearing on April 7, l997. The school children, who requested these bills were present and testified in support of the bill.

    The balloon council sent letters to the committee members expressing opposition to the bills. The committee has not acted formally on the bills.

    At this stage of the legislative process, it is important for legislators to hear from balloon retailers about the severe impact these bills would have. Please call or write to these representatives to let them know you strongly oppose these two bills.
    Rep. Kaufman – 617- 722-2030
    Rep. Kujawski – 617-722-2220
    If you’d like to call the Balloon Council their number is 800-233-8887 ask for Christine Stearns. They have two fact sheets on their reasons for opposition stating that the bills are founded on emotional appeal and have absolutely no basis in fact.

    Cheryl in Massachusetts
    Bianca’s Biscuits & Baskets of New England

  • SCE Urges Customers to Not Release Metallic Balloons OutdoorsROSEMEAD, Calif., June 26 /PRNewswire/ — In the wake of a spate of power interruptions in recent weeks in the Southland caused by metallic balloons, Southern California Edison is urging customers to exercise good judgment when using the balloons and to never release them outdoors.

    Though a colorful addition to festive occasions, helium-filled metallic balloons released outdoors can drift into power lines, causing short circuits, costly, widespread power outages, damaged property, and possibly injuries. There have been 60 circuit interruptions related to metallic balloons in 1998 — 12 of which have occurred in June.

    “We typically see an increase in balloon-related outages due to parties, celebrations and graduation ceremonies in June,” said Ron Ferree, manager of SCE’s power distribution operations, “but our distribution system has really been plagued by balloon problems in recent weeks.

    “It’s our job to keep the lights on, but we’ll do a better job of that if we can reduce or eliminate this problem of metallic balloons contacting our lines. We’re asking the public to exercise good judgment and to never release a metallic balloon outside. The balloon you release may very well cause an outage in your own neighborhood.”

    Last year, metallic balloons caused 90 power outages, affecting more than 100,000 customers, within SCE’s service area.

    SCE advises to never go near downed or dangling wires, or to try retrieving anything (including kites and balloons) hung up in power lines or in a substation.

    “These situations should be reported immediately to the fire and police departments, and call SCE at the phone number listed on your bill,” said Ferree.

    An Edison International company, Southern California Edison is the nation’s second largest investor-owned electric utility, serving more than 11 million people in a 50,000-square-mile area within central, coastal and Southern California.

    SOURCE Southern California Edison CO: Southern California Edison; Edison International ST: California IN: OIL UTI SU: 06/26/98 19:09 EDT


  • I had to put up some balloons outside a clothing store, (the area is a shopping strip). As we finished putting the balloons up, a police officer asked us if we had a permit for it. Of course, we said no, we didn’t know. The officer informed us that, what we were doing was calling attention to the store, it was a type of sign. And the owner could get fined if he didn’t pull it down. It wasn’t fair to the other store owners and if he kept it up then the others would want to do the same.My question is, should i have known this before hand? Is it up to us to look up the laws for permits and such for a particular city? OR should the owner of known this, since it’s his store? Should he of known the laws and restrictions of his town?

    After working for a Landlord myself for over 12 years, I know that generally in malls and strip plazas, this type of decor is considered a type of “signage” or “advertising” for the business and is normally not permitted …however, certain Landlords allow it if it is only a one or two day event. Certain Landlords are more strict than others… so it all depends on the location.

  • It is not your responsibility to contact the landlord directly to get permission to affix balloon decor – that’s the owner’s/tenant’s responsibility. Just to cover your end, before entering into any contract of this type, always ask the owner for a letter or permit from the Landlord authorizing the balloon decor. Once you have a copy, then proceed with drawing up a contract. Or alternatively, insert a clause in your contract that it is the owner’s responsibility to apply for all Landlord permits necessary for this particular balloon display and that should any authority request the removal of the display, that your company shall not be liable in any way and that the contract shall remain a legal contract and all monies shall still be payable… Perhaps you could have your attorney or legal representative draft up a clause for you.
  • To a certain extent you are required to know those “types” of things, but only as they apply to balloons and what you do. I would challenge the statutes or ordinances that would categorize decor as signage, as there are very evident differences in the two. One question I have is, were the balloons that were used imprinted with advertising or the company’s name and logo? Was there any signage associated with the balloons? If not, then you are not advertising per say, but decorating, much as window decor and the burden of proof would lie with the city, township or county, IMHO.Oftentimes if a law is not clear or is vague in some area, “street level” law enforcement is left to determine poorly worded laws (and egads, there are soooooo many laws on the books… YOU CAN”T BLAME THE OFFICER =-) and they must exercise their best judgement under the circumstance (or should).

    In the U.S. when you encounter this type of situation, you should:

    1. Ask (nicely) to see the statute or ordinance,
    2. If you are still in disagreement with the officer, ask to speak to the patrol/shift supervisor,
    3. If after this you are still in disagreement, then take down the decor and challenge the validity of the law in court or verify the laws so that the next time you do this you can defend your decor, you martyr, you!

    You may consider placing a clause in your contract that the business owner is responsible for ALL permits and permissions associated with each job. I can also say that you are just one step ahead of the game now (and for your experience; so are we all) and you might just want to look into all the laws that pertain to the types of things you offer, and create a little pamphlet for your customers so that they do not unknowingly violate the law when using balloon decor and then know where to get permits & where you get them, etc. You can then also promote yourself as being a professional who is familiar with all things that affect your clients, as it relates to your services.

    I hope that helps! Please, do not consider the above as legal advice, but, consult with legal professionals in your area, as what pertains in one city, state, country, may not apply elsewhere. I have a degree in criminal justice administration, so this is strictly a perspective from an officers point of view.

  • You may have to obtain a special event permit. It is ~$50 and allows the business to keep a display up for 10 days. Here each business is allowed 2 permits a year. Displaying without obtaining a permit can lead to fines for the business (not the decorator).

Rules For Malls, Convention Centers, Larger Hotels

  • Usually when malls do not allow helium balloons it is because they don’t want them getting caught in the air conditioning system or stuck on the high ceilings. Often, though, balloons that are sold (or given away) with weights attached are allowed. Another alternative is an air-filled balloon attached to a cup and stick.
  • We have a mall here in SoCal with a very sensitive smoke detector. A helium balloon which gets into the beam of the detector will result in the sprinklers being set off. So, this mall has a NO Balloons policy – no helium and NO AIR. They think that allowing some merchants to use even air filled balloons in their displays will encourage others to use helium. It really stinks, and some merchants HAVE hired me anyway, but it’s always touch and go.
  • A lot of high tech fire alarms have tacking beams and if a balloons gets in the middle of it, then it will break the beam and make the alarm think that there is a fire and will activate the alarm. Your best bet is to stick to air-filled balloons on a stick. 18″ clear filled with 5″ latex and/or 260Q’s can also be set in a display and do not have to be held.
  • Remember when working with alarmed stores: in general, nothing can move after the alarms are turned on. I.e.: Nothing can fall from the ceiling, from the taped up balloons, etc., and when the air conditioning goes on at 2:00 a.m. the balloons can’t all start moving. The store manager will not be happy getting the phone call to take all the balloons down at 2:00 a.m. We have just told them to turn off the air at night.

Shop Rules – Keeping Workers Safe

  • It is always a good idea to post SAFETY RULES in your storefront. Even if you are working out of your home and using friends and family members to help you with decorating jobs – SAFETY should be a main concern. Rules of safety should also be listed in your Company Handbook and each new person that comes on staff should read the entire book at least three times. We always make sure the type on the SAFETY SECTION is LARGER and BOLDER. In fact, we have an area where each person signs and dates the book to indicate that it was read and understood by everyone. Sad to say, but in these times of instant lawsuits – – that simple practice may save you a lot of pain and suffering in addition to helping keep everyone SAFE.
  1. ALL employees are to wear safety glasses while filling balloons.
  2. Use ear plugs when loud blowers are being used.
  3. On site WORK AREAS are to roped off.
  4. Flag monofilament lines and tape all extension cords down.
  5. NO TANK is to be left free standing. ALL must be secured to a cart.
  6. DO NOT MOVE tanks with regulators in place. Use valve cover.
  7. Helium is NOT to be breathed from tanks or balloons.
  8. Any unsafe area should be reported at once.
  9. Any injury should be reported when it occurs. All reports of problems at any location should be written up and put into the insurance file. Even if the event seem minor – Report it and then WRITE IT UP. Report any near miss accidents that involve clients.
  10. Turn off tanks and release pressure before removing regulators.
  11. ALWAYS use the right size ladder. DO NOT over reach.
  12. Keep Floor areas clear of boxes, plastic bags, drop and release netting, hangers, etc.
  13. KEEP SAFETY IN MIND AT ALL TIMES. If ladders are unsafe or if you are afraid or uncomfortable about doing something talk to project crew chief.
  14. DO NOT lift loads with your BACK. Bend knees and USE hand carts. GET HELP. You are one of our most important assets – we care about you and DON’T want YOU to get hurt.
  15. Seat belts must be worn at all times in all vehicles.
  16. If you have an idea that makes our work SAFER, FASTER or MORE FUN, SPEAK UP!

People Have No Respect For Balloons

  • How do we gain respect from the general public?? It never ceases to amaze me that parents feel they can just SNIP off a balloon from an arrangement and give it to a child. This infuriates me and I never know how to handle it. This weekend I donated table arrangements to the Local Firehouse for their pancake breakfast and sure enough… there were a few parents who decided that their child was entitled to one of the balloons.
  • I have found that it’s not just the kids. We did a wedding reception using helium filled arrangements on the tables. No kids there but half of the balloons were on the ceiling before dinner was served. We recently did a prom and the building was open for public viewing in the late afternoon. I was amazed at the adults who not only let their kids mess with the balloons, but held their kids up so they could reach them. The public seems to work on the idea that “they’re just balloons.”
  • Maybe these people should have to give a refund to the host in the AMOUNT OF THE WORK destroyed?? This is a pain and a problem – people who wreck or steal balloon decor prior to the close of the party!!!
  • We have found that this is inevitable. People are attracted to the balloons, and think that they are FREE, or something that can be touched or taken at will. We do advise our clients ahead of time, and we have found that by photographing every job upon competition that we have “proof” that the job was done as contracted and that we left the site in perfect condition. We have had to use this proof on a few occasions.

MB 12/13/95
MB 12/22/95
SKB 01/13/97
SKB 12/23/97
MB 7/20/99
SMB 1/17/00