Balloons are a common decorative material of any celebration. Be it a wedding, a new launch or a birthday party, balloons are stuck on the walls or released into the air to mark the occasion. But it is important to understand if these balloons are safe. There have been numerous incidences in the past where such balloons have been responsible for a celebration turning into a tragedy. These balloons have gas within them which can cause fire incidents when burst due to any negligence. So it is very important to pay attention to the details and also the safety measures. The first step starts with knowing if the balloons that you have got in are filled with helium gas or hydrogen gas.
Many times, vendors fill the balloons with hydrogen instead of helium gas. The reason being both hydrogen and helium balloons float in the air and hydrogen is abundantly available. The cost of hydrogen gas is also less for the vendor so they replace helium with hydrogen and sell it. Helium is comparatively very costly. But there is a major difference between the two gases, one is highly flammable and one isn't.
Hydrogen is dangerous as it can highly burn and result in fires. It is an explosive gas which can result in a tragic situation if they get burst within an environment near to any kind of small or big fire. Helium, on the other hand, is much safer as it is odourless, tasteless non-poisonous, non-flammable, non-explosive, non-toxic, non-radioactive naturally occurring and an environment-friendly gas.
See video of what happens when a hydrogen balloon explodes:
Hydrogen balloons can burst even on touching something too hot. At one incident in Bengaluru a few years ago, the balloons which were left to the ceiling burst when it touched a bulb. The resulting fire injured children at this birthday party. In another incidence in Chandigarh, 15 people were injured due to the balloon explosion.
Check the video of Chandigarh function after gas balloon blast:
— ANI (@ANI) October 9, 2017
Does that make helium balloons totally safe? Helium balloons are not inflammable but it is important to take precautions even when you are using them. Inhaling of helium is not safe, it can reduce the oxygen in the environment. It can result in lack of consciousness. Asthma patients should stay extra careful in an environment where there are helium balloons used. If there are children at the occasion, make sure the balloons do not burst very often. Children are ignorant and tend to burst the balloons out of sheer fun. But this emitting of helium on a large scale can result in major inconvenience. So the next time you are someone you know is hosting a celebratory occasion, make sure you check about the gas that is being filled in the balloons called in.