How to Reduce the Flammability of Mylar

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Mylar balloons have strings to hold them down.
Mylar balloons have strings to hold them down. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Mylar is a plastic film made by DuPont that has multiple uses. Mylar can insulate or reflect heat, has a role as an emergency medicine, forms radiant barriers in insulation and accepts paints for colorful helium-filled balloons. Most of the time fire is not a concern with Mylar, since it seldom has contact with flames, but it can burn and its fumes are toxic. While people can do little to reduce the flammability of Mylar, they can use caution with Mylar products, increasing the safety of these products.

Inspect your dryer’s ducting system. If your duct is Mylar, replace it with a ridged or semi-flexible duct that has UL approval. One of the few applications where Mylar caused fires was its use as a covering for dryer vents. When the lint beneath and inside the dryer reached temperatures hot enough to burn, the Mylar wrapping would ignite, creating a fire.

Keep Mylar balloons away from candles, especially at parties where distractions are plentiful. Many Mylar balloons have flammable strings attached to them, so the balloons should not be near any source of open flame. Do not release your Mylar balloons outdoors. These balloons use metal and when they land on overhead power lines, they can burn, creating a fire or a power blackout.

Restrict your use of Mylar rescue blankets around fires inside the home or when outdoors. Sparks from a fireplace or a campfire can ignite or melt the Mylar. Campers use Mylar blankets because they provide warmth without taking up much space or weighing much.

Use care when opening Mylar packages around flammable gases or dust-laden air. Mylar conducts static electricity and a spark could ignite the gas or dust, causing an explosion or fire.

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