Here are some safety precautions on balloons:
Helium filled balloons have the magic ability to delight us. Helium is a light gas that often used to fill balloons to make them float/fly.
WARNING: Hydrogen, is a gas that is lightest of all the elements. So Hydrogen filled balloons float in the air in much the same way as Helium filled balloons. Hydrogen is an explosive material and hence is very very dangerous if used for filling balloons! Helium has an important safety advantage—it cannot burn or explode like hydrogen.
We always use Helium to make the balloons float. We never use Hydrogen gas to fill the balloons to make them float as Hydrogen is highly dangerous as it could burn and cause explosions. Hydrogen is a flammable and explosive gas. On the other hand , Helium is a colorless, odorless, tasteless non poisonous, non-flammable, non explosive, non-toxic, non-radioactive naturally occurring and environment friendly gas, that often used to fill balloons to make them float. Helium is thus known as a noble gas.Persons suffering from Asthma and breathing problems are sometimes administered a mixture of Helium and oxygen, under medical supervision. Though Helium is safe to use, do not directly inhale Helium from a balloon, as Helium may displace the oxygen in the air which may cause suffocation and serious harm.
Many in India, use Hydrogen Gas as it costs very less. Hydrogen is abundant on Earth and hence cheaper whereas Helium is rare on earth and hence is very very expensive.
Here are a few links to understand why Hydrogen gas should not be used in balloons. In these news-reports, the reporters have not mentioned the right reason : that the explosions were due to ‘ Hydrogen Gas’ because of their ignorance of the facts. Note: only Hydrogen will burn and explode and Helium is a non explosive and non flammable gas and hence Helium is safe to use.
Unfortunately , in many Cities across India – many reputed party suppliers and balloon decorators still use the dangerous Hydrogen gas. BEWARE!