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Helium


Helium Cylinder

Helium is a colorless, non-toxic, non-flammable gas that is lighter than air. When balloons are filled with helium, they will float.

Helium can be obtained from a local industrial gas supplier. Check your telephone directory for listings.

Many different sized cylinders are available. In addition to the cost of the helium itself, some suppliers charge a monthly fee for the cylinder and require a security deposit.

You should also ask about delivery charges and whether or not a regulator is included with the cylinder. Regulators are discussed in detail in another section.

Helium Safety & Precautions

  • DO NOT inhale helium. While helium is a relatively safe gas, direct inhalation can cause dizziness, fainting, suffocation, and possibly death.
  • DO NOT leave cylinders unattended in a public area.
  • DO NOT open the cylinder valve before attaching an inflator to it.
  • Store cylinders in a secured, upright position where they will not accidentally fall. Cylinders should be chained to a wall or placed on a safety stand at all times.
  • Close the cylinder valve after each use and when the cylinder is empty.
  • When transporting cylinders, always close the cylinder valve, remove the regulator, and replace the valve cap.
  • Open cylinder valves slowly and stand to one side of the cylinder when opening cylinder valves. Never stand directly in front of the cylinder valve.
  • Never use a damaged cylinder or regulator.
Helium Cylinder

Helpful Hint

Keep outdoor conditions in mind when inflating balloons with helium. Helium is hot and cold sensitive and will expand or contract in extreme temperatures.

For example, a balloon inflated in a warm room and taken outside to very cold condition will seem to lose helium. But when the balloon is returned to normal temperatures it will expand back to its original shape.

The opposite is true in hot weather conditions. If a balloon is inflated to the maximum and taken outside to very hot conditions, it could burst from the expansion of helium.

Helium Cart

Handle With Care

Helium is stored in highly pressurized cylinders ranging from 1800-2400 pounds per square inch. A ruptured helium cylinder can be compared to a missile or the equivalent of two pounds of TNT.