The Dos and Don’ts of Gas Cylinder Storage

Gas cylinders are essential components in various industrial, medical, and research settings, providing the necessary gases for operations ranging from welding and manufacturing to anesthesia in healthcare. Proper storage of these cylinders is not just a matter of organization; it’s a critical safety requirement. Incorrect handling and storage can lead to leaks, explosions, and toxic exposures, posing serious risks to health and safety. Here, we outline the key dos and don’ts of gas cylinder storage to ensure safety and compliance in any setting.

The Dos of Gas Cylinder Storage

Do Store in a Well-Ventilated Area

Gas cylinders should be stored in a well-ventilated area to prevent gas accumulation in case of a leak. An outdoor storage area is ideal, but if cylinders must be stored indoors, ensure the area is well-ventilated to the outside.

Do Keep Cylinders Upright

Always store gas cylinders upright and secure them with straps, chains, or a suitable containment system to prevent them from tipping over. The valve protection cap should always be in place when the cylinder is not in use.

Do Separate Incompatible Gases

Store cylinders containing flammable gases away from oxidizing gases by at least 20 feet or use a non-combustible barrier (at least 5 feet high) with a fire-resistance rating of at least 30 minutes. This separation prevents hazardous reactions in case of leaks.

Do Use Appropriate Signage

Clearly label storage areas with the appropriate hazard signs and the names of the gases stored. This not only aids in quick identification but also ensures that safety protocols are followed, especially in emergency situations.

Do Regularly Inspect Storage Areas

Conduct regular inspections of the storage area for any signs of leaks, damage to cylinders or valves, or any other safety hazards. Ensure that all safety equipment, like fire extinguishers and gas detectors, are readily accessible and in working order.

The Don’ts of Gas Cylinder Storage

Don’t Store in High Traffic Areas

Avoid storing gas cylinders in high traffic areas where they are susceptible to being knocked over or damaged. Similarly, do not store cylinders in areas where they might block exits or emergency equipment.

Don’t Store Near Ignition Sources

Keep cylinders away from sources of heat, sparks, or flame. This includes not only obvious sources like open flames but also less apparent ones like electrical panels and mechanical rooms that could generate sparks.

Don’t Overlook Environmental Conditions

Do not store gas cylinders in areas where they could be exposed to corrosive materials or damp conditions that could lead to cylinder corrosion. Exposure to extreme temperatures should also be avoided.

Don’t Use Cylinders as Rollers or Supports

Never use gas cylinders as rollers, supports, or leverage points. This misuse can damage the cylinder, valve, or safety devices, leading to leaks or failures.

Don’t Ignore Expiry Dates

Regularly check the test dates on cylinders and ensure they are within their inspection period. Out-of-date cylinders may be compromised and should not be used until they have been tested and certified by a qualified technician.


Proper storage of gas cylinders is vital to maintaining a safe work environment. By following these dos and don’ts, you can mitigate risks and ensure the safety of your employees, customers, and facilities. Remember, safety in gas cylinder storage is not just about compliance with regulations; it’s about fostering a culture of safety and responsibility. Always consult with your gas supplier for specific storage recommendations and adhere to local and national safety standards.

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