Polymers and polymer nanocomposites have been studied under conditions of extremely high heating rates. Traditionally, these materials have been examined by the flammability research community using methods which have heating rates on the order of 10 degrees C/min. In this study, we have examined how polypropylene-nanoclay (montmorillonite) and polypropylene-carbon nanotube nanocomposites behave subjected to heating rates on the order of one million degrees C/min when irradiated with a 1064 nm Nd-YAG variable pulse millisecond laser. Time-resolved temperature data and mass loss data was collected for each sample as well as post-mortem surface characterization using spectroscopy and electron microscopy. The analysis shows that the nanospecies are effective in providing a protective barrier that decreases the amount of degradation and mass loss to the underlying polymer material. The effect is clearly seen after irradiating with a single pulse and multiple pulses. A comparison between the performance of the nanoclay and carbon nanotube composites is given.