Unsinkable Balloons on CASL Ceiling

By AMAL YAFAI, Guest Writer

If you’ve ever stopped to explore the ceiling of CASL, then you’ve probably noticed the pair of purple balloons hovering around the corner. The next thought that might come to mind is: why won’t these things deflate?

These rebellious balloons have haunted CASL for a few years now, refusing to deflate. How they got there remains a mystery, but it can be concluded they strayed away from an event and found themselves stranded among the ceiling lights.

The secret to their longevity is nothing groundbreaking. They are Mylar balloons.

Latex balloons, as opposed to Mylar, are more porous, allowing air to escape faster. Mylar balloons are made of non-porous material similar to foil and polyester, keeping them airtight.

Can the balloons cause any issues?

Carol Glick, executive director for facilities at the University of Michigan-Dearborn informs that they should do no harm.

If they are “stuck” in a particular location and have been for a significant period of time, I would not expect that they would cause issues for the building,” she says.

Although there are fire sprinklers and smoke detectors on the ceiling, the balloons can’t do much to trigger them. The fire sprinklers are only activated through heat, so the balloons pose no threat. As for the smoke detection beams located close to the top of the ceiling, they are designed to detect smoke particles.

According to Glick, both balloons would have to fall from the ceiling at the same time and each cross the path of one of the two detection beams in order to activate this system. There is a very slim chance of this happening.

For now, they keep us company; floating around their humble corner for festive flair.