ripcord

World English Dictionary
ripcord (ˈrɪpˌkɔːd)
 
n
1.  a cord that when pulled opens a parachute from its pack
2.  a cord on the gas bag of a balloon that when pulled opens a panel, enabling gas to escape and the balloon to descend

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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WordNet
ripcord

noun
1. a cord that is pulled to open the gasbag of a balloon wide enough to release gas and so causes the balloon to descend 
2. a cord that is pulled to open a parachute from its pack during a descent 
WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University.
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