SWEPCO talks summer safety tips and money saving advice during the hottest part of the year. 

Balloon Safety

* Metallic coatings on mylar helium balloons and on kites can cause damage to SWEPCO’s electrical system and cause power losses.

* Never use wire, tinsel or any metal in kite construction or as string — they can conduct electricity.

* Never fly a kite or release balloons near power lines. Electricity always takes the path of least resistance to the ground. It could go through the string to your body. Choose a wide-open field to fly kites.

* If a kite or balloon is caught in a power line, LEAVE IT THERE. Parents should call SWEPCO toll-free for assistance at 1-888-216-3523, and properly trained personnel with safety equipment can remove the kite.

* Do not fly kites or release balloons on rainy days where there is a possibility of lightning using the string as a conductor to reach the ground. Wet strings are good conductors of electricity.

* Hot air balloon pilots have rigorous safety training. For volunteers, observers and even pets on the ground, remember it’s important to listen to pilots to keep everyone safe so that everyone can enjoy the balloon rally.

Summer Savings and Heat Tips

* It’s best to avoid the heavy housework between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Save cleaning dishes, using the oven and washing laundry for cooler parts of the day. These appliances create heat and moisture that put an extra strain on your air conditioner.

* Keep direct sunlight out as much as possible. Close curtains, shades and blinds to hold down the temperature inside the home.

* Clean or change the air filters in your A/C unit. Dirty filters cause the equipment to work harder, using up to 5% more energy than a clean filter.

* Upgrading or installing insulation can reduce cooling costs by as much as 20%.

* Replace old weather stripping around doors and windows to prevent leaks.

* Our Average Monthly Payment plan (AMP). AMP averages out payments throughout the year to account for seasonal spikes in usage. Bills adjust on a 12-month rolling average and change only slightly each month, making bills more predictable.