Respect the container
Compressed gas cylinders are heavy and awkward, made of thick metal, and filled with gases sometimes compressed to well over 2000 (psi).
- Keep cylinders upright at all times. This is non-negotiable, and many accidents happen when this rule is ignored.
- Keep cylinders out of the direct sun. Higher temperatures will increase pressure in some gases, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Protect the valve
When no regulator is attached to the cylinder valve, the valve protection cap must always be in place on the cylinder. The valve itself is the weak point and it is damaged relatively easily. A damaged valve can mean a gas leak that could cause an explosion, lead to suffocation, or create a dangerous projectile. It is imperative to keep the caps on and hand-tighten only.
Whether you need to move gas cylinders’ feet or miles, the safety guidelines are the same.
- Always move cylinders with a secure hand truck or secured in a cylinder rack on a vehicle. Skipping the hand truck and rolling them instead can dislodge the valve and create a missile or explosion in your work area.
- Ensure adequate ventilation whenever you transport cylinders in an enclosed vehicle. A cylinder with a damaged valve can quickly fill enclosed spaces with poisonous, suffocating, or flammable gases.
- Unload cylinders as soon as you reach your destination.
- Keep empty cylinders stored in a separate area from full ones.
- Ensure the storage area is well-ventilated and far from heat sources or open flames, and store oxygen in a separate area to reduce fire risk.
- Always store cylinders in secure areas, secured by chains above the cylinder midpoints.
- Store containers on a shelf versus cold concrete or wet grass or dirt.