Helium balloons cannot be given away as part of a program and must be tethered as decorations. If the event has balloons suspended with magnets (e.g., in the May Room), the sponsoring organization must work with Event and Classroom Management and/or the company that is hanging the balloons to arrange for removal of the magnets in a timely manner.
There are four ways to get helium and balloons for your event:
- Hire a company like Balloon Effects International to decorate your event.
- Rent a helium tank and regulator from a local company that delivers. You can purchase balloons and blow them up yourself. Please work with your advisor for this option.
- Purchase a disposable tank from Party City, purchase balloons, blow them up yourself, and contact Norm Rhow at (585) 273-5501 to dispose of the tank when you are finished. Note: For smaller events, you will need less than 50 balloons.
- Use the helium tank and balloons available in the Student Resource Room in the Ruth Merrill Center. Refer to the Student Resource Room Policy for more information.
The first option is more expensive, but involves little student volunteer effort. The second, third, and fourth options are much more affordable, but require advance preparation with the balloons, volunteers to blow up balloons, arrange them, and return the helium tank to the vendor (or dispose the tank).
Safety Requirements for Operating a Helium Tank
UR Risk Management policies require helium tanks to be secured in the proper way while on University property. Wilson Commons Student Activities (WCSA) has made arrangements to provide you with the necessary equipment and storage of helium.
Please follow these steps in order to ensure safety of yourself and others:
- After you have ordered a helium tank, please contact WCSA to inform the staff of the anticipated delivery date.
- When helium tanks are delivered to Wilson Commons, they must immediately be secured with chains and a padlock to a special helium tank cart at all times. When not in use, these tanks must be stored in room 304. You can gain access to this room through WCSA staff or the evening/weekend building manager. If you have ordered a tank through a vendor that delivers, please direct them to WCSA at Wilson Commons room 201.
- When you are ready to blow up balloons, please contact the manager on duty in Wilson Commons in order to gain access to the tank.
- Do not move the cart and tank. The manager will assist you in transporting them to the Ruth Merrill Center.
- Once the equipment has been moved, remove the safety cap and attach the regulator/nozzle. You must blow up the balloons in the Ruth Merrill Center.
- When you are finished with the cart and tank, the manager will assist you in transporting them back to the approved storage location.